The “new normal” has changed the way organizations are operating and the way people live their lives. Physical distancing and the reduction in human contact has led to touchless technologies becoming a practical way to reduce physical contact, and touchless access control solutions have led the way.

Physical access and identity management have become more of a requirement for businesses with hybrid workforces looking to automate and successfully manage the return-to-site workflow, with college campuses in particular having an added incentive to do so. Learn more about Vector Flow’s COVID return-to-work portal below.

Key COVID Return-To-Work Portal Features

  • Integrations

  • Attestations

  • Badge/Access Operations

  • Notifications

  • Contact Tracing

  • COVID Reporting Compliance

1. Integrations

With this platform, integrating and ingesting your authoritative data sources is made easy. The identity lifecycle is properly maintained at all times by out-of-the-box integration agents, enabling the creation of profiles and workflows to automate and improve the user’s journey. The system also comes with integration agents for diverse building physical access control systems (PACS), including Ccure 800/9000, Lenel, AMAG, Brivo, Honeywell, Avigilon, and more. This ensures that HR identities are properly related to badge identities in the PACS systems to optimize management of badge operations. Examples include temporarily suspending access cards pending COVID test results, and immunization record receipts. The PACS integration also aids in supporting critical reporting requirements such as contact tracing based on real-time badge swipe data.

2. Attestations

The COVID Return-to-Work Portal solution leverages self-certifications and proofing processes to collect and monitor the overall status of COVID infections in the workforce.

This involves:

  • Initial Return-to-Work Immunization Record Collection

  • Ongoing (Daily) Worker Health and Contact Certification

  • Strictly maintained privacy and confidentiality, only accessible to authorized personnel in compliance with HIPAA laws.

The platform allows all colleagues and contractors to easily and securely provide information and documentation under penalty of perjury to avoid risk of fabricated documents or statements. COVID test results and CDC vaccination cards can be uploaded on a mobile or web platform at the convenience of the colleague. This will facilitate the ongoing requirements to monitor the vaccination status and health of the working population, this will also be used to drive physical access determinations. The system will automatically perform actions based on the data obtained from the health questionnaires and test results. For example, if a colleague reports that they are not feeling well, the portal will turn off their badge until they attest to no COVID symptoms. Managers can also check social distancing requirements are being followed by performing quick checks on the percentage of colleagues accessing the facility on a daily basis.

3. Badge/Access Operations

A key feature of this solution is the portal being able to suspend or enable a colleague’s access credentials based on real-time health status information. This is a way of monitoring access to buildings without having to individually monitor thousands of buildings and locations.

Badge and access compliance covers all scenarios, such as:

  • Daily health questionnaire-based operations

  • COVID immunization record-based operations

  • Negative symptoms in the recent past, but less than the symptom incubation period

  • Handling of unvaccinated staff with recent exposure

4. Notifications

Notifications are extended to Human Resources Managers, as with any other process. After upload of documentation, the colleague will be notified of their status and their ability to access the facility.

Notifications for entry status include:

  • Green: Good to go with no restrictions

  • Yellow: Entry/access is permitted, but with restrictions or caveats such as PPE, social distancing, and HR approval

  • Red: Entry/access is denied based on symptoms, vaccination status, and/or exposure

5. Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is extremely important for colleagues health and safety, as well as regulatory compliance such as California AB 685. By linking access points to occupants, such as employees, contractors, vendors, and more, an accurate picture of workspace usage is provided. The portal will sync PACS badge swipe data on a nearly real-time basis and automatically correlate responses from affected workers.

After that, the COVID-19 contact tracing process does the following:

  • Finds all badge swipes for the infected worker in the facility for last 15 days (number of days is configurable and can be modified per CDC guidelines).

  • Finds all affected employees, contractors, and third-parties who swiped their badge in the same location as the infected employee within 15 mins (configurable).

  • Determines the risk for workers: if the difference is between the infected worker’s badge swipe and the affected employee’s badge swipe is less than 5 minutes, then risk is high; otherwise, it is low.

The AI-driven algorithms automatically identify high or low-risk areas, such as perimeter or internal/non-perimeter areas. If a colleague enters a building and later becomes symptomatic, the contact tracing dashboard can securely list all colleagues that entered the same area within a certain timeframe so they can be notified to either get tested or self-quarantine.

6. COVID Compliance Reporting

The portal provides out-of-box reporting for COVID Infection Prevention Requirements such as California Senate Bill (“SB”) 1159 and Assembly Bill (“AB”) 685. SB 1159 requires employers to report positive COVID-19 tests to their workers’ compensation claim administrator. The compliance reporting can be configured for various US-based state regulators and various countries’ regulations. AB 685 requires employers to provide notice and report information related to COVID-19 exposures and provides the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/ OSHA”) expanded authority to enforce such requirements and ensure safe workplace operations.

This portal helps organizations stay compliant with reporting requirements within the stated periods and maintain compliance records as required by law. SB-1159 reporting is similar to AB-685; however, rather than looking at one single day, this report looks at a period of 45 days. The report shows affected employees in each 45 day period per site per day. A report can be submitted to the health department automatically if required.

7. Future Use Cases

As with any solution, once COVID-19 is no longer a core consideration, organizations want to know how their investment can provide future value, especially if vaccination status and attestations subside. The PIAM solution will provide long-term automation by:

  • managing all identities and personas tied to physical access control
  • separating and managing a contractor portal
  • integrating visitor management in lobbies through online mail and calendars
  • optimizing alarm reduction in Security Operations Centers
  • identifying insider threats with risk analytics and business intelligence

Return to Work Safely with Convergint

To learn more about the COVID Return-to-Work Portal and find out how Convergint works with partners like Vector Flow to help enable a safe, post-COVID return to the office, contact a Convergint expert today. 

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