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Open Door Mission implements new technology to screen for COVID

Posted at 6:10 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 19:21:48-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Throughout the pandemic Open Door Mission has strived to continue serving the community while also keeping everyone safe. That mission hasn't been easy.

The Gospel Rescue Mission did shelter in place in the early stages of the coronavirus. They have also been working with the health department to ensure they have the correct safety protocols in place. Masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing are among the new rules for the shelter.

"We are still doing temperature and symptom checks on every guest twice a day and that’s of course to stay ahead of everything, not only the COVID virus, but we’re in the flu season and we’ve had flu and strep on our campus as well," Candace Gregory, CEO and President of Open Door Mission, says.

Recently, they've purchased thermal temperature scanners that have been placed at the entrance to all their locations. The new technology takes temperature by scanning someone's wrist. It then informs of a normal or irregular temperature before entering the building. Gregory says she believes Open Door Mission will always have them, even after the pandemic.

Volunteers and staff members who are experiencing symptoms must quarantine at home before returning to campus. Guests must quarantine for 72 hours when first arriving to Open Door Mission in order to ensure they don't have symptoms and to inform them of safety practices.

Open Door Mission also has an on-site infirmary and rooms dedicated to quarantine and isolation in case of symptoms or a positive COVID case.

Even with all the safety protocols in place, Gregory says it's hard to keep this virus away.

"We implemented all the things the health department and the CDC had recommended for best practices and despite doing all of that we still have positives that pop up on a regular basis," Gregory says.