Entry Point Management May Allow Skilled Nursing Visitation



By Leticia B. Fornataro, AIA | Senior Project Manager

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Visitation After months of banning visitation due to COVID-19, skilled nursing facilities are starting to allow visitors.

Scanning & Sanitizing There are efficient and cost-effective options for scanning and sanitizing visitors entering the facility.

As New York State has managed to slow the spread of the virus, it has eased restrictions on nursing home visitation. To comply with the state guidelines and keep their residents and staff safe, facility managers are now using the most appropriate entry point screening and sanitizing options that fits within their budget and staff capabilities. Here is a short summary.

Screening Options at Entry Points

Walk Through Temperature Scanner (Group)
This stand-alone, non-contact temperature scanner will quickly screen temperatures for mass human traffic. It locks on faces for identification and generates sound and turns red when abnormal temperatures are detected. Although not considered accurate enough for senior living communities, it’s a good option for high traffic areas such as airports, schools, and large office buildings.

Walk Through Temperature Scanner (Single)
A non-contact option that monitors one person at a time. It’s fairly accurate and gives off a visual and sound alarm for an abnormal temperature over 100.4 F. The threshold can be set to lower temperatures and a second layer of screening is possible for those who are above the target/trademark. It has a screening capability of 70 people per minute.

Kiosk Temperature Scanner (Desktop)
This is a non-contact, fully automated, mounted kiosk that can detect the body temperature of the user standing in front of it. It will also detect if the user is not wearing a mask. The desktop format assumes a staff person is responsible for oversight.

Kiosk Temperature Scanner (Stand)
A standalone non-contact fully automated kiosk that detects body temperature of the user standing in front of it. The kiosk reads the temperature in less than a second and gives off a visual and verbal result. It also allows the operator to set their own acceptable temperature threshold and has an optional facial recognition. Depending on the vendor, this option can be tied to timecards, payroll, and reporting to the Department of Health.

This widely used option requires an individual on staff to take the temperature of everyone entering the facility. The device is the least expensive, but it does require additional staffing and is time consuming.

Sanitizing Options at Entry Points

Ceiling Mount Sanitizer
This is a multi-stage air sanitization that features HEPA-Carbon activated filtration UV sanitization. The HEPA filter captures up to 99.97% of airborne pathogens and easily retrofits into any existing 2 X 4 troffer. The UV LED are safe to use without hazardous material and waste disposal concerns of a low-pressure mercury UV lamp.

Ceiling Mount Lights
The ceiling mounted UVC lights can rapidly sanitize all surfaces and even the air in any room. However, they are best used for mostly unoccupied rooms, so not the best option for skilled nursing facilities. They can be widely used in buildings that function on pre-set shifts, such as schools.

Sanitizer (Portal)
This option utilizes Far UVC that sanitizes clothing and personal belongings. Similar to airport screening, visitors stand in the portal with their arms raised for complete coverage. It’s ADA-compliant and can be deployed as a free-standing structure or be bolted to the ground near any entrance or door.

Sanitizer (Freestanding or Pedestal)
This commonly used device allows users to sanitize their hands upon entry. It is cost effective and does not cause wall damage or repair when it’s removed.

Sanitizer (Wall Mount)
A cost-effective option for users to sanitize their hands upon entry into a facility. However, it can cause wall damage that will need to be repaired once it’s removed.


Elders are positively affected by living in a healthy environment and having meaningful contact with loved ones. As senior living designers that create quality homes for seniors, we can find solutions for our clients that can allow beneficial visitation while keeping everyone safe and healthy.

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