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Is the US Paving the Way for Global Travel with its COVID-19 Airport Temperature Screening Intervention Strategy?

Montag, Oktober 12, 2020

Earlier this year AMETEK Land launched the VIRALERT 3, a new human body temperature screening system that could help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, through airports and beyond.  

VIRALERTThe system, which has been developed over 10 years by LAND’s experts, provides real-time infrared thermal imaging from a safe social distance, scanning for elevated temperatures that could indicate infection.

Temperature screening is fast becoming commonplace around the world as countries try to control the spread of COVID-19. It was recently announced that the HR 7651 Healthy Skies Act of 2020 has been introduced in the U.S., which, if it passes into law, will require the implementation of temperature screening systems at airports throughout the country. The act comes at a pivotal point for the U.S., and potentially for the rest of the world, as it continues to combat the spread of the virus. 

If the bill passes into  law, the Transport Security Administration (TSA) would need to implement a 120-day temperature screening trial at a minimum of 10 US airports, with a possible extension  being rolled out across the country if it’s found to be a successful tool to fight against  COVID-19. 

Could the U.S.’s airport strategy set a precedent for action taken by the U.K. and the rest of the world? Several U.K. airports have trialled temperature screening systems since the pandemic began in March. However, trials are temporary measures that do not suggest the kind of permanent implementation that is required to help combat a virus that science suggests is very much here to stay.

Although cases are rising in the U.K., Europe and elsewhere, there is evidence to suggest people are planning to mobilize once more, and potentially on a mass scale, with one holiday provider reporting a 145% rise in bookings for next summer (link referenced below). With vaccines still in the works, now could be the time to set up the infrastructure that would help slow the spread of the virus while facilitating the increase in demand that appears to be just around the corner. 

VIRALERT 3 is the first of its kind, providing a camera and a temperature-controlled reference source on a single mounting as well as automatic face detection, taking a reading that’s accurate to within 0.5°C / 0.9 °F  in just two seconds.

It provides an effective solution for airports and other transportation sites, such as train and coach stations, scanning people at ticketing points or prior to boarding without causing unnecessary delays. The automated operation allows long lines of passengers to be processed quickly, making it the ideal temperature screening solution for airports. 

The VIRALERT 3 builds on AMETEK Land’s proven expertise in temperature technology. The company has been developing high-accuracy infrared measurement instruments since 1947 and has been creating human body temperature screening systems since responding to the SARS outbreak of 2003.

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