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Access Control in a Post-COVID World

February 2, 2021

By John Duffy, CPP Chief Technologist

The COVID-19 virus (both the original virus and the more deadly variant strains) has changed the importance of access control. Today, access control saves lives. In virtually all healthcare environments, a staff member scans for temperature, asks contact tracing questions, and mandates wearing masks. My dentist has hired a new staff member just for this COVID-19 function alone. My eye doctor uses existing staff, interrupting their ‘normal work’ to scan and admit. Supermarkets are too high-traffic for manual temperature scanning and manual contact tracing questions, but they do mandate masks. These are “access control” mechanisms that are new since the Spring of 2020 specifically due to the pandemic. Almost all businesses have practiced other access control mechanisms (mostly manual, but with some automation) for many years, but there is no question that it will become an area of focus for all organizations with brick and mortar.

Today, AI technology (sensors and applications) has allowed for the automation of these functions. Automation software, motion sensors, pattern recognition sensors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, and so on, can all be incorporated into access control and management functions to provide a flexible, integrated, 24×7 solution. People still manage and administer access control solutions. Today’s “Back to Work” automation can help protect lives for employees and guests, lower operating costs, and improve record keeping. Combining the “normal building access control function” with an “emergency access control function,” can provide security and compliance teams with better visibility and documentation for their services.

Mark your calendar for our upcoming webinar (March 4, 4:00 p.m.): Back to Work: Technologies for the Post COVID Era, featuring speakers from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Nvidia, and Kognition, creator of “smart building” software that can support total access control and public health/safety protocols.