Importance of Face Mask Compliance and Safety for BusinessesJiaying Feng
Across the country, businesses have been struggling to open and remain open. Over 100,000 small businesses had permanently closed due to COVID as of May and many big names have filed bankruptcy, including JCPenny, Pier 1, Hertz, and Gold’s Gym. Other businesses that are considered essential have been open, but at great risk to their employees, as well as their guests. In an effort to rescue the economy without further damaging the health of the country, individuals and businesses have turned to the use of face masks.
“Businesses around the country are now relying on the efficacy of face masks to protect their businesses from further financial damage.”
A peer-reviewed study from Health Affairs shows that the 15 states that adopted mask mandates early might have prevented up to 450,000 cases of COVID-19. These states have shown a greater decline in the daily number of new infections than the states that didn’t make masks mandatory until after the CDC announced their formal recommendation on July 14th. Businesses around the country are now relying on the efficacy of face masks to protect their businesses from further financial damage.
“Turing Video polled more than 230 businesses owners and managers. When asked if they would be interested in an automated method of confirming mask compliance, the answer was an almost unanimous “YES.” The solution to complete community compliance might finally be available.”
Turing Video polled more than 230 businesses owners and managers. When asked if they would be interested in an automated method of confirming mask compliance, the answer was an almost unanimous “yes.” The solution to complete community compliance might finally be available.
The Center for Disease Control Recommends Face Masks
The CDC has been advocating for the use of cloth face coverings since before most areas of the United States were overrun with COVID cases. It’s true that the cotton fabric most cloth face coverings are made of are not antiviral and will not stop a virus from passing through, but that doesn’t mean they’re not effective in reducing infectivity.
The first thing to understand is that cloth face coverings are meant to protect the people around you. The goal is to limit the number of viral particles present in the air in public places. Researchers believe that particles containing coronavirus are not only projected by sneezing and coughing but by speaking, singing, and breathing as well. You are more than 5.5 times as likely to catch COVID-19 while not wearing a mask.
“You are 5.5 times more likely to catch COVID-19 while not wearing a mask.”
The Benefits of Wearing a Mask
Simply put, masks reduce coronavirus infectivity and infections. Increasing evidence continues to show that cloth face coverings reduce transmission from breathing, speaking, coughing, sneezing, and all other types of mouth/nose to mouth/nose infection, as reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association
When an infected person without a mask projects particles from his or her mouth and/or nose towards an uninfected person without a mask, there is maximum exposure to the viral particles and a high risk of infection. When the uninfected person is wearing a mask, it is more difficult for the particles to reach his or her mouth and nose, lowering the risk of infection. When the infected person is wearing a mask, fewer particles are projected. When both parties are wearing masks, the chance of a particle carrying the virus making it to the uninfected person’s mouth or nose is significantly reduced.
“When both parties are wearing masks, the chance of a particle carrying the virus making it from the infected person’s mouth or nose to the uninfected person’s mouth or nose is significantly reduced.”
CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield stated, “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus, particularly when used universally within a community setting.” This claim was based on an increasing body of real-world research including multiple case studies that show significant differences between infectivity in facilities that do not universally require masks and facilities that do.
Snapshot of CDC Recommendations for Business Owners
- Use face coverings as appropriate.
- Recommend employees wear cloth face coverings.
- Cloth face coverings are intended to protect other people. They are not considered Personal Protective Equipment.
- Train employees on how to put on and take off cloth face coverings to avoid contamination.
- Cloth face coverings should be washed and dried after each use.
- Cloth face coverings should not be worn if their use creates a new risk (like impaired vision or heat-related illness) IF that risk exceeds the benefit of slowing the spread of the virus
- Recommend that visitors to the workplace wear cloth face coverings.
Public Response to Face Mask Recommendation
When the CDC first announced their recommendation for wearing cloth face coverings to prevent the spread of coronavirus in public places, a survey revealed that 62% of adults said they would follow the recommendation. The same survey, when repeated in mid-May, showed that more than 76% of adults were planning to follow the recommendation.
“increasing face mask compliance by only 15% could reduce the need for the shelter-in-place orders that would have cost an estimated five percent of gross domestic product, at an estimated cost of $1 trillion.”
The increase in the positive response to the face mask recommendation comes not a moment too soon. A study published by Goldman Sachs Research predicted that increasing face mask compliance by only 15% could reduce the need for the shelter-in-place orders that would have cost an estimated five percent of gross domestic product, at an estimated cost of $1 trillion.
Face Mask Dissent
While the majority of adults in the U.S. are doing their best to abide by the CDC recommendation to protect themselves, their families, their businesses, and their communities, almost 24% are relying on contradictory information to reject the recommendation.
The recommendation has been attributed to conspiratorial politics by many upon learning that a virus is small enough to pass through the fibers of the cotton fabric. Across social media platforms, many are wondering why they’re being asked to wear masks in public places if the people wearing masks believe themselves to be protected. Neither of these views reflects the actual function of a cloth face covering, as Lisa Maragakis of John Hopkins explains.
Dr. Maragakis, MD, MPH, is an expert in the prevention of infectious disease. “A mask helps contain small droplets that come out of your mouth and/or nose when you talk, sneeze, or cough. If you have COVID-19 and are not showing symptoms, a face mask reduces your chance of spreading the infection to others. If you are healthy, a mask may protect you from larger droplets from the people around you.”
Innovation in Infection Control
Monitoring the health and compliance of every employee, service provider, and guest is a huge undertaking. Even small lapses of preventative measures can cause an outbreak in your facility and your community, which could have exponential repercussions, leading to the reinstatement of shelter orders and further damage to not only your business but the local economy as well.
One company has applied its innovative team of engineers to the problem with outstanding results. Turing Video is a Silicon Valley tech business specializing in artificial intelligence, computer vision, robotics, security, and health solutions. One of their latest integrations might be the answer to safe and successful business operation during the COVID pandemic.
The Turing Video Thermal Scanner is a thermal imaging station that assesses body temperature on an 8-inch screen and provides audible results in one second. It’s deception-proof, automatic, glare-resistant, water-resistant, and can detect temperature even when the participant is wearing a face covering.
Turing has recently released the AI-Assisted Covid-19 Response Solution for integration with the Thermal Scanner and other commercial-grade camera systems. The Covid-19 Response Solution can check in your patrons and employees with facial recognition and QR code scanning, detect whether or not they’re wearing a mask, instruct them to put a mask on, and read their body temperature. The result is the highest form of entry and checkpoint health security available.
When elevated body temperature is detected, the Covid-19 Response Solution will provide real-time alerts and employee contact tracing with intelligent face search. It can also be used to operate automatic doors so that entry is dependent on safety and compliance. The Data Access Management Platform for the Covid-19 Response Solution provides alerts via SMS and email, reporting and stats, user management, Wi-Fi and LTE, secure data encryption, pen test, and soc-2 compliance.
Implementation and Compliance with CDC Face Mask Guidelines
The Thermal Scanner with face mask detection recognizes the user’s face as soon as he or she steps within range. It will alert the user and the system manager if the user is not wearing a mask. Once a mask is in place, the Thermal Scanner will read the user’s body temperature and approve access to the facility or area. In this way, the Thermal Scanner facilitates total compliance with the CDC’s face mask guidelines to improve public safety and increase the feasibility of keeping our businesses open and operational.
The Future of the Face Mask Era
As numbers continue to climb and reports of reinfection are released, we can begin to understand the longevity of the screening and prevention protocols that are currently in place. You can protect your family, your business, your customers, and your community with advanced, user-friendly analytic systems from Turing Video.
Turing is pioneering innovations in security and health to keep our businesses safely open and operational. Learn more about Turing’s team of passionate engineers and entrepreneurs, as well as the Turing Video Thermal Scanner, AI-Assisted Covid-19 Response Solution, and other advancements in artificial intelligence and security robotics at TuringVideo.com.