• Jess Co

Contact Tracing: Your 3 Key Strategies

The question most HR and business leaders are focused on is “how do I reopen the office safely?” Social distancing, health screening, schedules, and seating all have their own complexities and nuances to navigate.


But, once you finally reopen, the question becomes: “what do I do when someone calls in sick”?


Conducting a manual interview process for one individual who has reported a potential Covid-19 exposure may seem straightforward. However, there are plenty of unknown variables such as the individual’s ability to recall the last 14 days, their informal meetings with colleagues in the office, and their social interactions outside of the workplace. Given these circumstances, how can you effectively develop a comprehensive safety plan for your employees?



Manual interviews are just one pillar of a robust contact tracing strategy. Sensor-based and data-driven tracing are the two others. One benefit of Dojo is it enables you to take a multi-pronged approach in order to increase the safety of employees and reduce the risk that more people get sick.


The 3 Strategies of Contact Tracing:

1. Interview-focused:


The bedrock of any contact tracing plan is a rapid and thorough communication with any employee who calls in sick. The CDC encourages this and provides recommendations on how to approach interviewing your staff.


Pros:

  • Few false positives, as employees are unlikely to falsely report that they met with someone

  • This method is also cash-conscious; the only overhead is your time and energy

Cons:

  • Remembering the past is hard. Employees are unlikely to remember every interaction during the potential exposure period, especially after receiving stressful news

  • Individuals with a confirmed Covid-19 case may quickly be admitted to the ER/Hospital if the infection is severe - it may be hard to do a manual interview process at the time when it’s most needed


2. Sensor-based:


Sensor-based contact tracing uses Bluetooth or GPS via your employees mobile device. The method holds tremendous promise but according to the CDC - current implementations fall short.


Pros:

  • Provides real-time mobility data that can capture brief, informal interactions in addition to more structured ones.

Cons:

  • Tracking employees or requiring them to carry a device can trigger privacy concerns

  • This method is only as good as its adoption rate - if enough employees opt-out, it may be rendered ineffective

  • In its current implementation, these technologies result in high numbers of false positives and false negatives



3. Data-driven:


This method utilizes readily-available “passive” data such as meeting calendars, keycard swipe data, and seating charts. The quantitative data can enable HR to make swift decisions with higher confidence.


Pros:

  • Data-driven strategies are easy to deploy and deliver rapid results

  • It does not require anyone to download an app and/or rely on them to always carry a mobile device

Cons:

  • For this strategy you get what you put in; if interactions are not logged, they will not be factored into your decision making process. E.g. employees will need to be proactive with updating their calendars/planning their meetings to have rich and complete data

Since no strategy is 100% effective, the best solution is a combination of all three. Investing the time and consideration for each strategy will help you re-open with more confidence --and hopefully remain open.


How Dojo's Back Track algorithm can help:


Dojo offers a comprehensive solution for data-based contact tracing. AI includes occupancy, spatial layout, seating, scheduled meetings, and more to generate a report that identifies which employees are at higher-risk given a known sick person.




When health and safety is at risk there is no such thing as over planning. A strong contact tracing strategy, built with the right tools, can bring your team back into the office for the longest term possible, hopefully without closing again.


Schedule a demo today to learn how Dojo can effectively plan for your team's ongoing safety against Covid-19 contact tracing in the workplace.

Co-Authored by Jessica Co, Bryant Galligan, and Dan Goldstern

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