2020-03-14: COVID-19 - dealing with potential risks that could affect Welgevonden Estate

This communiqué offers a summary of what’s being done about the potential contamination risk posed by Welgevonden Estate’s biometric access system against the background of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections that have been confirmed in South Africa.


Biometric scanners: What we’ve been doing so far

· The biometric scanners are being cleaned and disinfected hourly.

· As an additional measure, earmarked members of staff are deployed fulltime at the residents’ entrance and exit points to and from Welgevonden Estate. Their role is to sanitise the fingerprint contact points on the scanners each time before being used. (Please see our detailed communiqué dated 12 March 2020 in this regard.)

· Residents may also create visitors’ invites for themselves using the GloVisitor app. In this case they will gain access to and be able to leave the estate in the same way as visitors would do, without having to touch the scanners or hand over their drivers’ license cards. (Our communiqué dated 12 March 2020 also contains more information about this.)

· We’ve explored installing touch-free sanitising spray units at the scanners so that users can disinfect their fingers after use, but suppliers of sanitising equipment have been sold out due to the demand created by COVID-19. We will continue to explore this option.


Biometric scanners: What we are planning to do in addition

Even before COVID-19 emerged, Excom has been considering the gradual introduction of an access control system that does not require finger contact. However, in view of the current COVID-19 situation, Excom has decided to fast-track the investigation into a no-touch system which will do away with the potential contamination risk posed by what we currently have.

At the same time we’re also exploring other temporary no-touch solutions as an interim measure, as it may take time to procure, install and commission a new permanent system.


What we are NOT planning to do

We do not consider reverting to the use of access cards. These cards pose an extensive security risk, as experience has shown that they can be stolen or passed on to others, which could result in unauthorised access to the estate. This will have a negative effect on the estate’s impeccable security measures due to, amongst others, the current biometric system.

And, having an increased security risk at an uncertain time when we have a threatening health situation, is something that we cannot afford and shouldn’t have to deal with right now.


Conclusion

Thank you to Welgevonden Estate owners and residents for your concern about the health of those on the estate and for the positive manner in which you handle this undefined situation. Thank you, especially for the responsible manner in which you communicate on the estate’s social media. Not only does this prevent the possibility of unfounded rumours, but it contributes towards creating an environment of reason on an estate where we care for one another.

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