SAINT JOHN, NB: New sensors provide an alert if 2 metres/6 feet of social distancing has been breached and it can complete contact tracing in less than 10 minutes.
Health experts continue to provide guidance that maintaining physical distance from each other is one of the most important measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
It is also important that any close contacts of an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 are isolated from others as quickly as possible to prevent further possible spread if they become infected. This contact tracing can often take several hours to complete and relies heavily on individuals remembering every detail of who they interacted with and for how long.
As J.D. Irving, Limited continues to adapt new safety protocols at its sites, new technology is helping employees maintain physical distancing and advancing rapid contact tracing during COVID-19.
“The safety of our employees is our most important priority –everyday, at every work site,” explains Jim Ramsay, Vice President of Safety at J.D. Irving, Limited in Saint John. “This new technology builds on our current COVID-19 safety efforts to date. The sensors were extremely helpful in expediting contact tracing at the St. Leonard Sawmill, following recent positive COVID-19 tests by co-workers.”
Close to 2000 of the new proximity sensors are making their way to JDI manufacturing sites in Canada and the US. On arrival at the work site, employees have their temperature checked, review the COVID-19 assessment questions and pick up a small new electronic sensor.
The sensors don’t track specific locations like a GPS but they do “talk” to one another. They sense the location of another co-worker wearing a sensor and deliver a visual and audible alert if physical distancing is being breached.
The technology keeps track of when employees are in close proximity, and for how long. The technology can deliver a worksite contact tracing report in less than 10 minutes, should a positive COVID-19 case occur.
Vice President, Communications