An increasing number of companies are investing in indoor navigation platforms to COVID-proof their offices.
Creating a safe environment is important if you want to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. However, in the event one of your employees contracts the virus, having a contact tracing strategy is crucial.
Why you need a contact tracing strategy
Most indoor navigation platforms are powerful tools when it comes to proactively creating a COVID-safe office as they make it easy to:
- Keep the recommended distance between employees
- Control traffic flow in hallways
- Avoid overcrowded areas
- Ensure the necessary cleaning and sanitation
However, the incubation period of COVID-19 can be as long as 14 days. This means there is a risk employees will come to work without knowing they are infected. If this happens, it is important to be able to identify people that have been in close contact (within six feet) with infected individuals for 15 minutes or more two days prior to symptom onset or two days prior to the test if the person is asymptomatic. This allows you to reach out to notify people of possible exposure.
Another key component of contact tracing is cleaning and sanitation. It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems likely to behave like other coronaviruses. A recent review of the survival of human coronaviruses on surfaces found large variability, ranging from 2 hours to 9 days. This makes it important to be able to see where the infected individuals have been, so all areas of contact can be thoroughly cleaned.
How indoor navigation can be used for contact tracing
There are several ways of contact tracing with MapsIndoors. Which strategy to choose depends on your company.
If you combine MapsIndoors with an indoor positioning system (IPS), you can capture the movement of visitors and employees within buildings. Pairing this setup with a system that logs a device's location along with a timestamp will allow you to see where the infected individuals have been within your buildings and, in the same way, check who else has been in the area at the same time.
If capturing movement is not an option in your office, MapsIndoors lets you create Areas in the MapsIndoors CMS.
Areas are a “floating” location type on your MapsIndoors map. This means that they can be used to mark a smaller or larger area of your map to indicate, for instance, where the different departments in your office are permitted or have access to.
You can’t capture people's movement with Areas, but by dividing employees into smaller groups and showing where each group is permitted, you can reduce the amount of contact areas of each employee. This makes it easier to identify people who may have been exposed and clean the areas that may be contaminated.
MapsIndoors supports profile-based routing. With profile-based routing you can give or restrict access to parts of your office depending on an employee’s profile.
While profile-based routing doesn’t offer employees a clear overview of spaces in which they’re permitted, as Areas offers, it does, however, guide them around restricted spaces when using the indoor navigation feature.
Since Areas give employees a clear overview of permitted spaces and profile-based routing makes it easy to navigate around restricted spaces, it can be an advantage to combine the two and offer employees an even better user experience.
If you want to know more about how to use MapsIndoors to create a safer office for your employees, reach out to one of our experts or download our free guide How to Adapt Your Office to COVID-19 Challenges.