News & Updates

Masks Are Effective—And Increasingly Uncontroversial

17 June, 2020

The jury is no longer out on masks.

An issue that once divided public opinion is now widely viewed as a no-brainer, as experts, political leaders, and the public at large support face coverings in public to help contain the spread of covid-19.

There are some notable exceptions but in general, people agree masks are needed right now.

"Agree" is an understatement, as the majority of Americans (77%) support wearing masks in public, with another 76% supporting social distance requirements in stores, restaurants, and other businesses as they reopen. Getting over 70% of the American public to agree on anything is a rarity, so such widespread support shows that the public is acutely aware of the need for masks.

This fact was bolstered by another recent Politico survey of 2,000 Americans and a panel of health experts, where they found Americans are more likely to view activities as risky than experts. Even where experts deemed risk factors as comparatively low, such as running outside without a mask, individual respondents categorized such activities as high risk. Americans get it: masks are helpful.

The value of masks is corroborated by study after study, and doubters need look no further than country-by-country stats on infection rates. The nations that have had a universal mask requirement have been the ones to combat the spread of coronavirus most effectively.

Regulators are starting to catch on, and in some cases reverse previous decisions on personal protective equipment (PPE). For example, in April the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) reversed a previous statement on masks and asked the public to wear them in public places. It then rolled out a series of PPE recommendations and requirements for businesses and individuals. Also, 15 states have made masks mandatory in businesses and Virginia just announced mask requirements for all indoor public spaces.

In short, masks are a part of the new normal, and with a vaccine over a year away (by the best estimates), we’re in for a long haul.

So what does that mean for the average organization today? It means we don’t have to wait for the long arm of the law to define the particularities of PPE compliance requirements, and we don’t need to wait for the health and economic consequences of noncompliance.

We can require masks right now, and we can do it quite simply.

As we discussed in our previous update, Greeter makes this all very easy. Briefly, Greeter is an app that helps businesses ensure sustained, universal compliance with PPE requirements by having individuals ‘check-in’ at critical control points throughout an office or facility on tablets deployed near the entrances/exits and other vulnerable areas. The software detects when individuals aren’t wearing masks and sounds an alert accordingly.

It can do much more than that, including contactless temperature checks and assessments, but its ability to detect masks and other PPE is unique in the marketplace.

It doesn't require a massive software implementation, new technology, budget, or even an Internet connection. Rather, it’s a simple tool that can be installed on existing tablets, and it doesn't require people to change their behaviour (except when it comes to wearing masks).

Let's fight Covid-19 together.

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Greeter is a product of Gradient Ascent, an applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) company with dozens of AI projects in software, financial services, and industrial sectors. We believe friendly technology can nudge people into making socially responsible choices.

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