Schools open: Solutions to combat COVID-19

Ecl-ips has the experience with schools to help you

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With schools open during the current lockdown caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic you may be looking at further ways to keep staff and children protected. Ecl-ips is an established supplier of CCTV systems to schools, as our case studies show, and can work with you to offer a range of solutions developed this year to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 transmission.

Even without using new developments one of our school clients has been using their Avigilon CCTV system to aid their internal track and trace process. This school has cameras within their school canteen and has been able to use footage to identify students who have come into close contact with another student who has tested positive for the virus.

The ability to do this is made more powerful if you acquire a license for Avigilon’s Appearance Search video analytics technology. This is a sophisticated deep learning AI search engine for video. It sorts through hours of video with ease, to quickly locate a specific person or vehicle of interest. This means the CCTV is an even faster tool to trace staff and students who may need to self-isolate.

Avigilon has also added more analytics features to its Avigilon Control Center 7 (ACC 7) software and H5A cameras specifically in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that could help keep schools open:

  • Social Distancing: ACC 7.8 allows CCTV operators to detect breaches of social distancing guidelines around school sites and inside buildings. This latest technology works when combined with embedded analytics within the advanced Avigilon H5A cameras
  • Occupancy Counting: This can provide you with a way to count and identify the number of people within your school buildings. Occupancy Counting helps organisations also comply with social distancing guidelines by limiting the number of people in a facility, thereby reducing the interactions between them. This solution is available if you have H4A or H5A cameras and have upgraded to ACC 7.6.4 and are using Avigilon Cloud Services (ACS). The feature can also be available if you have third-party cameras attached to an Avigilon Artificial Intelligence Appliance. The cameras should be specially placed at the entry and exit points of a building.
  • Face Mask Detection: If schools are enforcing rules on face coverings Avigilon’s Face Mask Detection technology is available with ACC 7.6.4 and provides effective monitoring and enables proactive, real-time responses from your team. This feature relies on AI-enabled video analytics and specially-placed security cameras to determine when an individual is not wearing a face mask within the school or college. Once the feature detects an individual is in violation this prompts an automated alert through the ACC 7 software.

As well as supplying CCTV we install access control systems, including Avigilon’s Access Control Manager (ACM) and Paxton’s Net2 software. Electronic access control systems can help to keep schools open as they can support contact tracing which can, where appropriate, be fed into the UK’s track and trace programme for COVID-19.  For example, if a school staff member or student, suffers from coronavirus symptoms and needs to self-isolate and get tested, school managers could use ACM or Paxton’s Net2 to produce an identity correlation report.

This report can be used to identify doors that have been used by staff and students as well as the date and time of that access as contaminated handles could pose a risk to transmission. Following this, all other members of staff or students that also entered or left via those doors within the timeframe that the infected person used them can be contacted. Using CCTV and access control systems together can make this contact tracing even more effective. ACM can easily be integrated into Avigilon’s CCTV system, and Net2 also allows for integration with CCTV systems.

Paxton has also been making specific improvements to Net2 to deal with Covid-19 challenges and could be deployed on larger school or college sites. These developments are:

  • Checkpoint Control: This is contained in the latest upgrade of the software, Net2 v6.05 and allows for staff and students to be monitored and approved before entering a building. Additionally, you can create checkpoints within a building where users must be validated before they can access other areas, helping to follow health and safety guidelines and protect the well-being of staff and students.
  • Occupancy Management: With Net2 v6.04 you can quickly and easily manage the flow of people around your building to control the maximum number of people in any given area. The Occupancy Management feature has been specifically developed to support social distancing.

If you are managing a school or college and are looking for more ways to keep staff and pupils safe Ecl-ips can support you with CCTV and access control solutions to help. Please contact us for advice.