Oct 06 2020

Established Tools Find New Purpose in Screening People

Tech companies produce widely adopted solutions that may also help safely reopen government facilities to the public.

The 2020 pandemic has reshaped the way government agencies go to work. Many have worked from home for much of the year — some for the first time.

To work from home, employees have adopted technologies that smooth telework but also boost general efficiency. Videoconferencing, for example, has provided teams with the ability to collaborate in real time — in contrast to traditional teleconferences, where everyone except a presenter might be in “listen only” mode.

As government workers return to the office, other existing technologies — such as cameras, proximity detectors and occupancy counters — could similarly provide enhanced functionality to help agencies weather the pandemic.

Longstanding Tech Gets a New Mission

Recently, Los Angeles International Airport deployed thermal cameras to detect elevated body temperatures among passengers. Thermal cameras are nothing new, and security personnel have relied on them in the past to screen for contraband, among other uses. But agencies can recalibrate this familiar technology for pandemic preparedness.

Those thermal cameras have the potential to pinpoint feverish persons within a facility, allowing security to mitigate the spread of viruses. Of course, deploying a thermal camera in such a matter works best as part of a comprehensive strategy and in coordination with other tools.

“Los Angeles World Airports has been rapidly evolving its policies, procedures, technology offerings and physical spaces to ensure the safety and health of passengers and employees alike,” says LAWA CEO Justin Erbacci, who was appointed to his role in June.

Enabling In-Person Transactions Again in the Future

Tech solutions bridge the gap between remote locations and the central enterprise, or home and office, but also may be the key to keeping everyone safe as they gather once again.

The functions of government are inherently social. In many places, the public must travel to agency facilities to conduct transactions that ensure a smoothly functioning society. Familiar technologies may prove indispensable to restoring these vital rites of citizen service.

Image Source/Adobe Stock