Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center uses thermal scanner to take temperatures at front door

Posted at 3:48 PM, Jun 25, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - New technology is being used to keep people safe at the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Anyone who enters the building is stopped at the front door and asked to fill out a small questionnaire about any recent travel and their health.

Then, the person steps up to the Decurtis Shield, which is a thermal scanner that takes your temperature within a second. According to the leaders of the Decurtis Corporation, the device was the first one of its kind put into operation.

They say Shield Kiosks use a combination of thermal imaging cameras and facial identification to perform temperature screening and securely store the resulting data.

It was implemented as part of the entrance procedure at the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center about 11 weeks ago.

The Decurtis Corporation hopes to eventually have them installed in stadiums, cruise ships, hospitals and other areas with a lot of people.

Leaders at the psychiatric center say the new technology has helped them immensely.

“It’s been really helpful to us in the last few months. We’ve been able to remain open. We’re able to accept patients from all over the state of Virginia and we have been able to provide mental health services in a time when it is needed,” said Dr. Robert Light, chief medical officer at the psychiatric center.

Doctors said the device has been used over 12,000 times over the last 11 weeks, and 21 people have been turned away because their temperature was too high. There was one case of COVID-19 discovered.

Dr. Light said so far, their facility has not had any cases of COVID-19 inside their building among staff or patients.

News 3 went to the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center back in March to show how they were one of the first agencies to be taking temperatures of the people entering their building as a precaution.

Now they are using advanced technology in hopes of keeping their patients and staff safer and ease the process of getting into the building.

They said previously they ran into challenges the patients with their former procedure. They also said it presented problems during shift changes for employees as the process would could a back up when everyone was trying to get in and out.

They said the speed of the new process makes operations at the center a lot easier.

“The individuals occupying this area, providing the screening are at less risk because of it and the staff that come in, they can come in more quickly. It’s less disruptive to their workflow,” said CEO Kurt Hooks.

They are getting an updated device this week.

Hooks said it has been a game changer for his organization.