SMS Contact Tracing – How to Use SMS to Reduce Spread of Infection
SMS contact tracing – are you using it?
There are so many ways to benefit from SMS beyond SMS marketing.
In the current COVID-19 crisis, SMS contact tracing is one of the most important ways to use SMS and it’s essential for your business.
Do you have face-to-face dealings with the general public? Or do you deal only with your in-house employees, suppliers, and contractors?
Either way, this is the key to keeping yourself and the community safe and you’ll also be seen to be doing your part to beat the pandemic. It is also currently a legal requirement for many businesses.
SMS contact tracing provides you with the most affordable, convenient, and effective method to monitor and control access to your venue or premises. It also enables source and exposure tracing if an infected person has visited your business or come into contact with any of your staff or customers.
What is Contact Tracing?
Put simply, it is the key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting people, families, and the wider community. Contact tracing enables health and medical organisations, working with the government, to trace the spread of infection. It is used whenever a highly infectious disease that presents significant community risk is present. For example, before COVID-19, contact tracing has been used to track and identify sexually transmitted infections in many countries worldwide. Contact tracing was also effective in controlling the spread of Ebola. Tracing close contacts to the source of the infection allows those at risk of spreading the disease to modify their behaviour (for example social isolation) in order to stem the spread of disease.
Contact tracing for COVID-19
- Informs people if they may have been exposed to COVID-19
- Alerts potentially exposed people and their close contacts to promptly get tested for COVID-19
- Tells people if they need to self-isolate or self-quarantine to stop the spread of COVID-19
- Allows businesses to operate as normally as possible in these difficult times
How Does it Work?
For example, if a customer who has visited your business becomes unwell and is diagnosed with COVID-19, then they will need to list everywhere they have been and all the people they have had physical contact with during the period they’ve potentially been infectious. By setting up contact tracing in your business, you can make sure that all the other people who may have been exposed will be able to be warned and get tested themselves. They will also need to self-isolate or quarantine if they are diagnosed as well.
Health department epidemiologists and other medical professionals also work to identify all the other contacts of these people. Contact tracing will ideally identify the original source of an infection cluster, and it simplifies this complex process.
Tracking community spread of the coronavirus in this way helps stop the spread. This works best when used with other preventative measures: handwashing/sanitising, social distancing, and mask-wearing.
Benefits of SMS for Contact Tracing
1. It’s Contactless
Many places are currently collecting personal information for contact tracing via handwritten lists or via tablets. This is far from ideal, as it presents another level of infection risk, sharing pens or touching a screen which numerous others have also used. SMS contact tracing is a much safer and more convenient way of collecting names and numbers, and all that’s required for effective contact tracing is each person’s name and mobile phone number, along with the date of their visit.
2. It’s Fast
By collecting customer, client, and other contact data, you can generate a database of contacts for fast bulk SMS alerts. You can then warn anyone who has potentially been exposed to the coronavirus instantly and effectively, minimising or even averting a crisis.
3. It’s Easy
Automate processes and guarantee delivery of alerts. SMS has open rates of 98% – so you know your messages will be received, opened, and are guaranteed to be read by the vast majority of recipients. It’s cost-effective for you and efficient for all parties.
Using SMS for Contact Tracing
Just two examples include:
Track arrivals and departures of staff and visitors by having them check in via their phone (using a QR code) and then send an SMS requesting they text back “OUT” when they leave.
Book tables remotely and send SMS confirmations. Manage access to your establishment by having customers scan a QR code as customers enter and complete the attached form on their phone.
SMS Contact Tracing Works For Everyone
No matter which industry you belong to, there’s huge potential for using SMS for reopening and contact tracing.
- Hair and beauty salons
- Pubs and clubs
- Sporting venues
- Public transport
- Schools and universities
- Takeaway restaurants
- Food trucks
- Shopping centres
- Construction companies
- News agencies
- Financial institutions
- Post offices
- Medical centres
- Aged care facilities
…the possibilities are endless.
Partner with ClickSend for the Best SMS Gateway
Even with the easing of some restrictions, it is only through effective and efficient contact tracing that any but essential businesses (and these are participating in tracking as well) can hope to continue operating as near to normal until the pandemic has passed. Implementing SMS contact tracing demonstrates that you are prepared and committed to the health and wellbeing of the community – and consumers appreciate this. It is the only way to work smart and ensure business continuity.
ClickSend’s SMS gateway provides you with everything you need to implement affordable, efficient, and effective contactless contact tracing and help manage the risks of COVID-19. It’s even more important to be on top of this now as we come into the Christmas season and people will be seeking to, as much as possible, get back to a more normal way of living.
Chat with us today by clicking on the face in the bottom right corner of your screen, so we can get you set up with our SMS gateway.