Re-opening Offices safely in times of COVID-19
A recent (June 26) McKinsey & Company survey of executives found that 80 percent of employees are expected to return to the workplace by September. While initiatives are well underway for physical measures — such as separating desks — companies are lagging in the identifying and isolating potentially infectious people. The sooner individuals are notified and informed to stay at home, the better for everyone in the workplace. Even a 3-day delay in identification causes community spread to be almost as bad as doing nothing.
The survey tested four types of interventions in support of a safe return.
Companies are far along in implementing physical measures.
However, the executives surveyed responded that companies are lagging in implementing measures around identifying and isolating potentially infectious people:
The CVKey project — a non-profit founded by Google Earth and Google Maps founder Brian McClendon and entirely run by volunteers from technology, public health and science backgrounds — has spent its energy addressing the problem of identifying and isolating potentially infectious people.
Daily symptom checking — or home health surveys — is a core part of the CVKey solution.
For individuals — such as employees, contractors, students, faculty, and citizens — CVKey provides a privacy-first app that allows the individual to daily symptom check, explore resources and get guidance. COVID-19 is a virus that behaves in counter-intuitive ways and the science is constantly changing. CVKey spends effort on making this understandable to individuals in bite-sized snippets as they symptom check daily. Content is based on CDC guidance which CVKey monitors and maintains with the help of our expert health council. Making that guidance easy for users to understand and adhere to daily is a big part of CVKey’s design and usability effort. On the technology side, CVKey spent the first 3months of its existence inventing and engineering an architecture for its mobile app which would allow individuals to use the app without revealing any personal information to employers or counties, without being location tracked, and without personal data in the Cloud. Our project intentionally invested in this upfront, realizing that protecting individual privacy was a core and non-negotiable feature. Using this architecture individuals are able to complete daily health surveys securely on their own phone. They generate a simple QR code that allows them to access places — such as office buildings — using that QR code, without revealing any personal data, without leaving any location tracking information and without being hacked.
COVID-19 is a virus that behaves in counter-intuitive ways and the science is constantly changing. CVKey spends effort on making this understandable to individuals in bite-sized snippets as they symptom check daily.
- For organizations that are tasked with keeping groups safe — such as employers, universities and counties — CVKey provides a SaaS solution that allows organizations to publish clear guidelines and direct their community to resources that they will need if they need to stay home (testing, grocery delivery, nurse lines, etc). This information is pushed to the CVKey app, again, in a privacy-first way.
The CVKey project is a non-profit initiative. I’ve been volunteering with CVKey for a few months. Let me know if you’d like to learn more.