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How to Prevent Coronavirus Cases in Reopened Colleges

Since the beginning of reopening the country, thousands of cases have been reported at U.S. colleges and universities. Experts worry about early reopening; the entire country is on the brink of a second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. This article discusses the recent CDC recommendations and looks into technologies that help slow the disease’s spread.

What the CDC recommends?

The most recent general guidelines for institutions of higher education (IHE) are available on the CDC website. An entire section is dedicated to screening and prevention. It outlines essential aspects of maintaining virus-free environments, such as temperature screening, disinfection, and social distancing requirements. The article is still getting updated, with the last change dated December 14th. Some starting tips for keeping the environments safe include:

  • General cleanup and making sure the delivery of clean air is occurring across the campus. Fans are recommended for better air ventilation;
  • Layout changes in how students sit with one another. Desks should be spaced at least 6 feet apart from one another; 
  • Entry screening is essential in protecting healthy students. That includes contactless temperature screening, social distancing, protective measurements, i.e., gloves and masks.
  • Strict cleanup schedule for dorms and campus buildings, plus the temperature screening and disposable protective measurements mentioned above.

These are the essential means of protecting students when they go back to their universities. A comprehensive guide is available from the CDC. It’s possible to enhance these measures with the use of technologies.

What technologies can stop the spread of the virus?

Nowadays, multiple companies and startups specialize in safety and disinfection solutions.

While there are plenty of companies that resort to wholesale solutions that merely create a sense of security, some companies produce highly accurate screening devices that comply with the CDC requirements. Among them is an autonomous voice-controlled screening station Thermocontrol.

This device works autonomously and does not require any human interaction for its work. It is controlled remotely ― a staff member can monitor visitors and their temperature entries safely. If a person has a high temperature, the personnel can deny entrance using Thermocontrol integration with the entrance system. The station stores every measurement, together with a date and photo of the person; it notifies the user of their high temperature, too, using a colored screen and a sound alert.

The device stores the results and updates them in real-time. The device owner can access logs anytime.

There is a specific measurement distance of roughly 9 inches, with one of the most precise measurement sensors available: temperature result is accurate up to 0.2 °C. Thermocontrol provides both high accuracy and high throughput capacity.

The station conducts up to 600 measurements an hour, which is more than sufficient for a campus building. Compare that to the manual measurement, which allows around two hundred temperature checks per hour. Learn more about different forms of temperature measurements in our article.

Disinfection robots

On the other end of the spectrum, some solutions go past the prevention and screening. Among them are various disinfection robots. They travel autonomously and disinfect the area using disinfection sprays and UV-light.

UVD Robots are manufactured in Denmark. The company has been in the market since 2016, developing autonomous solutions for lab and hospital disinfection. They utilize ultraviolet rays and have been more and more in demand since the pandemic. Recently, the company expanded to provide disinfection in hotels, schools, airports, etc.

Another similar solution is developed in San Antonio, Texas. UV Germ-Zapping Robots by Xenex eliminate bacteria and viruses that can cause health-associated infections. According to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Xenex robots destroy SARS-Cov-2 with 99.99% efficiency in under two minutes.

NTU Singapore develops XDBOT. The eXtreme Disinfection roBOT is controlled through a laptop or LIDAR. Its spray nozzle sends disinfectant using a positive electrical charge with the disinfection liquid stored in its 2.24-gallon tank.

Despite the variety of disinfection devices, they are not in wide demand compared to prevention devices. Temperature screening stations are among the most popular new implementations for educational facilities and public areas: from small shops to office buildings and transit locations. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Thermocontrol stations have found users in private companies in the U.S., extensive international manufacturers in Europe, and Eastern European universities.

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