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CrisisGo's Safety Blog

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How Automated Screenings Simplify Michigan's Phase 4 Reopening

January 12, 2021

Michigan’s 5 phased Safe Start program offers a well-considered guide to reopening with exact next steps that are efficiently planned for and accommodated. The guide provides a checklist approach to reopening for in-person learning based on the condition of COVID-19 in the state.

With this planning tool, educators and administrators can coordinate and prepare for a phased reopening throughout the year.

In Phases 1-3, it is highly recommended that schools remain closed. Now, most schools are entering Phase 4 and preparing for Phase 5. At this point, K12 schools are encouraged to reopen following careful safety procedures.

Phase 4 contains most of the requirements and recommendations you would expect to see:

facial coverings, cleaning supplies, hygiene education, and social distancing in classrooms and hallways.

However, the plan also contains detailed instructions for symptom screening and contact tracing that can make getting back to school much more complicated.

  1. Adult guests entering the building should be screened for symptoms, wear a facial covering, and wash/sanitize hands before entering. Strict records, including date and time, should be kept of non-school employees or other visitors entering and exiting the building.

  2. Staff should conduct daily self-examinations, including a temperature check, before coming to work. If they exhibit any respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms or have a temperature of 100.4 or more significant, they should stay home.

  3. A monitoring form (paper or electronic) for screening employees should be developed.

  4. Families are encouraged to check their child’s temperature at home every morning using oral, tympanic, or temporal scanners; students with a temperature of 100.4 or greater should stay home and consider coronavirus testing if symptoms of COVID-19 are present.

  5. Families should be notified of the presence of any laboratory positive or clinically diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the classroom and/or school to encourage closer observation for any symptoms at home.

  6. In the event of a lab or clinically diagnosed case of COVID-19, immediate efforts should be made to contact any close contacts (those who spent more than 15 minutes less than six feet close to the student or staff member) to be quarantined for 14 days at home. Students and staff should be closely monitored for any symptoms of COVID-19.

  7. All schools, public and private, must cooperate with the local public health department if a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified, and in particular, must collect the contact information for any close contacts of the affected individual from two days before he or she showed symptoms to the time when he or she was the last present at the school.

These detailed requirements may seem daunting, but automating symptom checks and contact tracing can make it easier, faster, and more secure than a manual screening process. One school in Chicago could get their entire school safety-checked in and in class in less than 30 minutes—an essential during a Michigan winter.

Automated self-screenings mean parents and staff can safely monitor their symptoms and assert they’re safe to enter from the safety and comfort of their own homes. A simple automated survey before people even leaves home generates an access badge quickly scanned on entry.

That badge can also make contact tracing easier with a new feature called area scanning. With area scanning, administrators can set up critical checkpoints around the school, monitor students’ precise locations at any point in the day, and for how long—all without GPS. An automatic system can also compile a list of other students and staff, and the infected person may have come into contact with—making contact tracing simpler.

And because the entire process is run online through a secure network, it takes no extra effort to expand the protocol to include guests, parents, contractors, substitutes.

Automated screening is simple, user-friendly, and cost-efficient than you might think with Safety iPass. Every feature is customized to your school’s specific needs, and the team of staff can make sure your plans meet Phase 4 requirements and set you up for success in Phase 5 and beyond.

Lindsay Bragg
Written by Lindsay Bragg

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