Country Clubs Using Contact Tracing to Keep Their Members Safe

We are 8 months in to the COVID-19 pandemic and we still have not seen a slowdown in cases in the United States. As scientists are still learning about the virus, even as they race towards a vaccine, the unwavering fact is this virus is highly contagious and the most effective form of preventing the spread is social distancing.

However, inevitably, people will come into contact. Due to the virus’ long incubation period, people may go out in public while they are unknowingly positive for COVID-19 and contagious. Once diagnosed, it is imperative to identify who the infected person has been in contact with, so those people can quarantine themselves for 14 days and get tested if they develop symptoms. This process is referred to as contact tracing.

Contact tracing allows effective identification of friends and family members who may have been exposed, but is difficult with public places because infected person will typically not notify public establishments they have visited, such as restaurants and grocery stores, of their diagnosis. Even if they did, it would be very difficult for these businesses to identify and contact others who may have proximity to the infected person because these businesses typically do not keep databases of their customers, nor track customers’ locations within the establishment.

Private clubs have a unique advantage because members are more likely to notify the club of their diagnosis, and most clubs likely have the data required to be able to perform basic contact tracing to help protect members.

Clubs may not be able to pinpoint with precision each and every person with whom the infected person crossed paths; but with reviewing purchases and activities tied to a particular member number, it is possible to create an approximate map of the infected member’s whereabouts within a certain date range, as well as identify which other members may have been using the facilities around those times.

A large country club in Boca Raton was notified that a member had received a positive COVID-19 test towards the end of March. As soon as the members’ family notified the club, the club was able to trace down to the exact employees and members that were exposed in a matter of hours using the Cobalt system.

The club is using Cobalt modules across all areas of the club, which made it extremely easy for them to figure out where the member had been – restaurants, golf course, shops, spa, etc. Not only was the club able to identify the people that member dined and golfed with, but they were also able to identify their server, who checked them in for golf, who cleaned their cart and returned their clubs, etc.

Cobalt also helped them take the tracing one step further to know what members were dining in proximity to the infected member. The club was able to notify those individuals, encouraging them to quarantine and get tested if they developed any symptoms. The club is now slowly reopening and following all recommended safety precautions, and has peace of mind knowing that they have the ability to contact trace and do everything they can to prevent the spread within their community.

Implementing a new technology platform is a major project and not a quick fix. However, this virus and other super-bugs that are predicted to emerge in the future will continue to be part of our lives. If your technology systems are unable to provide this level of insight, it is worth thinking about preparing your club with this capability for the future by considering a well-integrated platform. Full integration provides many other benefits in the short term as well, such as reduced manual entry, saving time spent by employees, increasing the ability to implement greater access to data.

Please contact us for additional information.

Stephanie Castro

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