Recent months have seen the “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2), previously known by the provisional name 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), spread like a wildfire from central China to virtually all corners of the globe. Today, mere months after the first case appeared in Washington state, the United States leads the world in total number of cases.
Since there is currently no vaccine or other therapeutic drug for this infectious disease, the best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Hence, the latest addition to our vocabulary: Social Distancing.
This strategy aims to prevent infection by preventing transmission, which is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, especially between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and by the spread of respiratory droplets produced when infected people cough, sneeze or talk. Some recent studies even suggest that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Bridge ID’s technology is able to verify the identity and location of groups of individuals day and night – even while Officers are not at work – and alert Officers of violations of house arrest or curfew in near real-time.
Given the dramatic and tragic developments across the country in recent months, the management of Bridge ID has decided to begin a humanitarian initiative by offering Bridge ID services at no cost to both prisons and jails for 90 days during the peak of this crisis.
It is our hope that this will allow the safe release of low- and medium-risk inmates and defendants to self-quarantine at home rather than continuing to be at risk of being exposed or, if already exposed and asymptomatic, of perpetuating the spread).
Jails and prisons are concentrations of captive targets in tight quarters. This makes them potential sites for mass infection and resulting fatalities.
Releasing prison inmates and jailed defendants naturally raises concerns for public safety. However, if these individuals could be sent home to self-quarantine with the reasonable assurance that their whereabouts could be monitored 24/7, this would not only help reduce the spread of COVID-19 through the prison system but also keep society safe at the same time.