It’s exciting that businesses are starting to open their doors again, although the COVID-19 threat is far from gone. We all have to be extra careful when welcoming back staff and clients to our facilities. That may mean implementing new procedures to keep communities safe.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, a gym owner would have never considered contact tracing for their facility. Now the practice could save lives.
What is Contact Tracing?
If a client visits your facility and is unknowingly an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19, they risk spreading the virus to everyone else there, who then go on to put others at risk when they leave. That’s why, if you learn that a client has tested positive for the coronavirus, it’s critical that you quickly get in touch with everyone else who was at the facility at the same time.
Contact tracing is simple: record contact information for every person that comes through your door, timestamped with when they were there. Then, in the worst case scenario of someone testing positive, you have a way to immediately trace every other person who might be at risk.
You don’t have to keep these records indefinitely; Check with your local government for any specific requirements about how long you must hold the data for.
Visit the CDC Website for a detailed breakdown of how contact tracing works and why it matters so much.
How to Implement Contact Tracing At Your Gym
The idea is simple. Collect the name, email address, and phone number of every client who walks in the front door, and mark what time they came in. But it can be tricky implementing a solution that meets public health guidelines.
Clients could write down their contact information on paper and leave it with the front desk, but we don’t recommend this option for a number of reasons. You would need to provide separate sign in forms for each client as well as disposable gloves and extra disinfectant. You also end up with a lot of paper (or a huge spreadsheet) and you’ll need time or staff to keep everything meticulously organized.
A much easier and safer solution is using software to track everything for you. Not only will software ensure data accuracy, it will also help you respond more quickly in the event that you need to make contact with your clients.
Visitance Offers a Free Contact Tracing Tool for Gyms
We recommend Visitance, a new, free tool from Jonas Leisure, a sister company of Pike13.
Visitance was specifically designed to help gyms and other businesses in the leisure industry enforce social distancing requirements. It allows the business to gather necessary contact information through a QR code placed at the facility entrance, and it’s quick for clients.
Visitance was built specifically with the needs of gym owners in mind, and is 100% free to businesses and clients. The app also links into local government contact tracing efforts, contributing to the safety of the greater community.
How do Clients Use Visitance?
The key to Visitance is that clients enter their information on their own phones. It’s completely contact-free, and doesn’t require clients to download anything to use.
Scanning the app loads a facility-specific web page where visitors can enter details such as their name, phone number, email, and address before going inside. This data is then held by the facility, allowing managers to easily contact people if a case of COVID-19 is discovered among facility users.
When visitors scan the code outside, they'll be added to your 'waiting list' to be admitted into the facility. By manually approving entry, you can ensure that you don't go over capacity limits. Clients scan the QR code again on their way out. Depending on how your facility is set up, you may need to put one QR code near the entrance and another near the exit.
What about the staff side?
It’s easy to set up and manage information within Visitance. You will need to create a free account on their website to register your business. Then you’ll have access to your dashboard and receive a unique QR code that your facility visitors can scan at the door.
You are able to brand your digital sign-in forms in Visitance with your own colors and logos, as well as customize the form with your own fields. The app makes it easy to manually input information too, to account for the small number of visitors who do not have smartphones.
The dashboard keeps the information organized. In the event that a case of the virus is discovered, the app helps you quickly identify which of your other visitors are at risk so you can contact them.
Enforcing Capacity Limits with the Visitance App
The Visitance app can also be set up to interface with a screen at the entrance of a facility to show a real-time count of how many people are currently inside – making it easy to ensure occupancy limits are not exceeded without putting extra pressure on your staff.
Visitance serves a safety need, but it also offers peace of mind. Clients will feel more comfortable visiting your facility by knowing and seeing the things you are doing to keep them safe. It can help you find peace of mind too, knowing that you’ll be able to quickly take action to protect your community if you ever need to.