Jersey City Introduces Body Temperature + Mask Scanners at Municipal Buildings

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Watch out Silicon Valley because Jersey City just took a big step in technological advancement! This week, Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop introduced state-of-the-art body temperature scanners and mask recognition technology, which will be placed at the entrances of all {yes, all} Jersey City municipal buildings. This latest measure in the fight against COVID-19 makes Jersey City the first city in the U.S. to use this innovative system.  According to a tweet sent on June 24th by Jersey City Business Administrator Brian Platt, a body temperature below 100.4 degrees and mask are required for entry. Put simply: no mask, no entry! Here’s what we know:

The Unveiling

Mayor Fulop, along with Stacey Flanagan, Director of Health and Human Services, Jake Hudnut, Municipal Prosecutor, and Municipal Court employees were on hand at City Hall on Wednesday for a demonstration of the system to the press. The intention of the scanners, according to the press release, is “to maintain a safe, healthy, and compliant environment for all city residents, employees, and visitors.”

Read More: A List of Outdoor Dining Spots in Hoboken + Jersey City

According to City Hall, nearly 45 scanners will be installed by the end of this week {half are already in place}. There will be a second phase of installations placing 25 scanners at all police stations and firehouses. Local vendor Johnson Business Product and Interiors will perform the installation, with ITAV Solutions providing integration of the GoSafe Temperature and Mask Recognition Scanner, Kim Wallace-Scalcione, Press Secretary for Mayor Fulop, told Hoboken Girl via email.

According to the GoSafe website, temperature readings take 0.3-1 seconds from a distance of 1.6-3.2 feet. The site ensures 99% facial recognition accuracy even when the person being scanned is wearing a mask.

“Jersey City is the first municipality in the nation to take the lead in implementing a contactless access management system,” Wallace-Scalcione noted. “The system will be installed at all city-owned properties to help safeguard the thousands of city employees, residents, and visitors citywide that enter our facilities on a daily basis.”

The City’s Response to COVID-19

Scanners are just the latest step in the strides Jersey City has taken against COVID-19. When asked by Hoboken Girl about the measures put in place to ensure the safety of residents, City Hall responded with the following list via email:

  • – Face masks are required in all municipal facilities.
  • – Anyone entering a municipal building is required to have their temperature taken.  {This was being done by a handheld thermometer prior to the scanners.}
  • – All city offices and services are now appointment only.
  • – The city has been more aggressive with the cleaning and sanitizing of public areas.
  • – Plexiglass barriers have been installed in all areas where public interactions take place.
  • – PPE Kits {masks and sanitizer} are available at every municipal facility for anyone that needs the supplies, including the public.
  • – All building bathrooms have been transitioned to single occupancy.
  • – Break rooms and common areas are closed.
  • – The Administration is also exploring options to stagger shifts to avoid clusters of employees in any one office at a time to reduce exposure and spreading of the virus, while also increasing service hours to allow residents to more conveniently access city resources.

See More: Latest Jersey City + Hoboken COVID-19 Updates as of June 30, 2020

The Road to Reopening

The reopening process is now fully underway in Jersey City, with Mayor Fulop having recently signed an executive order permitting outdoor dining at restaurants. Last week, the mayor also launched the “Slow Streets” Pilot Program. According to the press release, the plan provides residents with additional open space by designating certain streets as “Slow Streets” temporarily closed to through traffic, with local traffic permitted at very low speeds and all existing parking maintained.

“These Slow Streets will act as a relief valve for safe outdoor activities this summer as we see the streets and parks start to get crowded again,” the statement reads.

But are these efforts to lift social distancing regulations too much too soon? According to a local Hoboken Nixle alert, there has been a  “slight uptick in cases”  in recent weeks, and Jersey City saw 17 new cases of COVID-19 just yesterday, July 1st. So, fingers crossed that we’re not moving too fast, but only time will tell.

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Born and raised on the Jersey Shore, Alena visited Hoboken {her parents’ hometown} regularly as a little girl and has always had a soft spot for the Mile Square. With family roots in the town’s fire department, she has been a proud resident of our fair city since attending graduate school at The New School in NYC. Alena began her career as a beat reporter at a small newspaper, before finding her groove as a development professional in the non-profit field. She has a passion for helping others, a penchant for writing, and is excited to get back to her journalism roots. When she’s not raising funds or following up on a scoop, Alena is practicing yoga, listening avidly to true crime podcasts, reading a great book, gallivanting with friends, and missing Schitt’s Creek.


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