Local construction company uses tech to track potential outbreaks

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO – A new piece of technology aims to prevent outbreaks in the workplace, and DPR Construction is the first San Diego company to try it out.

“We heard about an opportunity to pilot a new technology for contact tracing and we jumped,” said Gary Scholten, Innovation and Technology Field Specialist for DPR.

The technology Scholten is referring to is a bluetooth card called Contact Harald, which keeps track of other bluetooth cards when they come within six feet of one another for more than two minutes at a time. His company purchased one for every employee.

“When we give someone a badge, they know their proximity to others is going to be measured,” Scholten said.

In the event that an employee tests positive for COVID-19, managers are then able to see any employee that came within close contact over the past 20 days and reach out to notify them.

“They can keep their employees safe and they don’t have to stop production, they don’t have to shut down,” said Susana Franko, a spokesperson for Safedome, the parent company of Contact Harald.

Franko points out that just last month California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 685 which “requires employers to provide written notifications to employees within one business day of receiving notice of potential exposure to coronavirus.”

“Do they have the infrastructure in place?” Franko wonders about companies not using contact-tracing technology. “Some don’t. So, they could be cited and could be shut down.”

Franko says each card costs about $30.

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