Reopening New Jersey: Jersey City debuts new technology to keep municipal workers safe

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Jersey City has become the first city in the country to implement body temperature scans and mask recognition technology at all municipal buildings.

Mayor Steven Fulop unveiled the state-of-the-art body scanners and mask recognition technology on Wednesday afternoon.

Anyone planning to go inside municipal buildings, fire and police stations and the housing authority office will be subject to the screening.

Officials hope the technology will help with the safe return of the city's full workforce and will help in the ongoing battle of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The mayor says the machines will only scan people for a temperature and if they are wearing a mask. Fulop wants to put to rest any fear that the hardware could also be used as facial recognition to pull up or gather personal information.

Stacey Flanagan with Jersey City Health and Human Services says anyone who is screened that does have a fever will not be allowed inside and that person will be asked to go home and self-monitor for three days.

The devices cost about $1,800 a piece. They are made in New Jersey and the mayor says they were purchased with federal money allocated to combat the COVID-19 crisis.

They are being installed in phases at the same time that some buildings are still being fitted with partitions and social distancing tools to protect workers and the public.

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