The situation we find ourselves in is novel. We often think of our enemies as bad actors, thieves, people who mean us harm – but in this case, our enemy is faceless, nameless, and incredibly difficult to locate. So where does physical security land in all of this? Access control and video surveillance is intended for subjects that are tangible, so is it still useful against a foe we can’t see? Well, the answer is complicated and perhaps not front of mind right now as our health and the health of our loved ones takes precedent. But the short answer is, yes, physical security can play an integral role in the fight against a viral outbreak, even a pandemic. 

How? Reporting.

One of the most important pieces of the access control puzzle is reporting. Tracking the audit trail of credentials through your building allows administrators to see who is where in real time. With the increased reporting functionality of our newest software, you can run muster reports showing a real-time attendance of everyone in the building – and even filter by date. 

Reporting is essential throughout the year. It can be used to recall an event, track a suspicious actor, or follow a lead through your site. But consider the efficacy of the reporting function in the event of a pandemic. If you are aware of an infected individual in your community, it would be possible to track their movements throughout the building. By seeing the other credentials in that relative time, and space, you could even pinpoint who the infected individual may have come in contact with. Under the current circumstances, this would be useful for sanitation but also containment.

Reporting alone is a useful tracking tool. We are not suggesting that it is an integral part of the fight against COVID-19 or any other highly contagious virus, but it can play a role. And, without an access control system with extensive reporting capability, tracking is  impossible. In the event of an emergency, be it an intruder or a virus, looking back at the audit trail is essential.

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