September 2, 2021 10 min read

An Attendance Tracking App for Contact Tracing.

IMPORTANT: In this article, we include links to the guidance offered by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in the United States. The CDC states their guidance is meant to supplement the health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which K-12 schools and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) must comply. We encourage you to follow the local rules and regulations of your country, especially those concerning consumer privacy.

CATEGORIES

Attendance Tracking

Access Control

Contact Tracing

SOCIAL SHARE

Recording attendance at events, meetings, or other gatherings can help with contact tracing, where allowed by law.

Background

Some educational institutions are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic by formalizing guidelines. Furthermore, these guidelines are relative to indoor gatherings and events. For example, concurrent with the writing of this article, Harvard University published guidelines that apply to “sponsored and supervised events (by a School/Unit/department/manager); to non-sponsored events (informal gatherings); and to private events.

One of those guidelines states:

“Hosts of gatherings within residence halls and dormitories must monitor attendance and cooperate with contact tracers in the event of a positive case.”

With this in mind, how can the hosts “cooperate” with contact tracers? The CDC published an article titled, “Considerations for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in K-12 Schools and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs).” As of the writing of this blog article, the CDC article was last updated on Aug. 5, 2021.

Reporting cases to the health department:

“K–12 school and IHE officials should ensure timely reporting of COVID-19 cases to the health department, consistent with applicable federal, state and local privacy and other laws. To aid in the investigation, K–12 school and IHE officials can establish mechanisms, in advance, to quickly assemble information and records to aid in the identification of people who have potentially been exposed and close contacts of people with COVID-19 at K–12 school or IHE facilities or events.”

Likewise, directly notifying those exposed:

“As soon as possible after they are notified that someone in the K–12 school or IHE has tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19, K–12 school and IHE officials should notify close contacts (and families of close contacts in the K–12 school setting) of exposure, in accordance with applicable privacy and other laws.”

In addition, in the United States, the CDC publishes a list of local health authorities on its website.

TRACKING ATTENDANCE

With CodeREADr, you can create workflows to best suit your needs. You can configure what data is collected by CodeREADr’s mobile apps for iOS devices (iPods, iPads, iPhones) and Android OS devices (smartphones, tablets, and mobile computers). The application is configurable to function in a variety of ways. For example, the most basic app configurations for tracking attendance for contact tracing are here:

Record Scans

With the Record Scans service type, the mobile app scans an ID to create a scan record. The scan record includes a timestamp and location. Also, the “questions” you create collect whatever other information you may want with each scan.

Validate Scans

Alternatively, the Validate Scans service type first validates whether the ID scanned is in an associated database. Then, it creates a scan record just like the Record service type.

Check-In/Out (CIO)

The CIO service type can not only record and/or validate attendance but it includes a few extra options.

  • Individuals can scan in and out, thus capturing the duration.
  • You can see who’s attending and who’s not.
  • You can monitor capacity limits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CodeREADr integrate with my existing services?

Yes. Generally, you can use one or more of our many standard integrations. However, contact us if your service of choice does not appear on one of our integrations.

Can exporting scan records be automated?

Absolutely. You can create a Task for exporting your scan records, based on a template you configure. Otherwise, you can manually download scans at any time.

Can the scanning device be set up like an unattended kiosk?

Certainly. You can set up devices either in the kiosk mode or for an app user to attend the device. Here’s a video showing both methods. This video shows how an attendance app can be used for contact tracing.

What IDs can the app read?

The app can read virtually any barcode type using just the built-in camera of iOS and Android OS devices. Barcode scanning accessories can also be used. The app can read NFC tags if the device has a built-in NFC reader, which is now common. In addition, accessories are available to read IDs with built-in RFID/NFC technology.

Is Personally Identifiable Information (PII) stored on CodeREADr’s servers?

PII is only stored if you choose to do so. You can delete scan records at any time and even schedule bulk deletions automatically for scan records older than a defined date and time.  You can also skip CodeREADr’s servers entirely with Direct Scan to URL (DSU.) We recommend DSU if you have developers, particularly if PII is a large concern.

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