Bell Works Details Strategy to Safely and Securely Reopen ‘Metroburb’

Hackensack Meridian Health experts endorse comprehensive reopening plan that includes thermal scanning procedures, touchless technology integration, new signage and updated interior design

Bell Works, the reimagination of the historic former Bell Labs building in Holmdel into a thriving metroburb, announced details surrounding its comprehensive reopening strategy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Created in partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health’s Reopening America Assist Program, the plan includes facility and operational upgrades, design enhancements, and new “Stop the Spread” guidelines.

“The Bell Works Metroburb has evolved into a cultural heartbeat for the region. We understood the building’s importance to the community, as well as our responsibility to provide our businesses with a safe and secure environment in line with government guidelines,” said Robert Feinberg, director of operations of Somerset Development. “Under the expert guidance of Hackensack Meridian Health and the tireless efforts of the Bell Works staff and design team, we’re proud to once again open our doors to tenants and guests.”

Hackensack Meridian Health — New Jersey’s largest and most integrated and comprehensive health care network — established the Reopening America Assist Program to serve as a comprehensive, turnkey solution to support best practices in safety, cleanliness, education and testing related to the spread of infectious diseases.

With guidance from Hackensack Meridian Health, Bell Works implemented their Dahua Thermal scanners at each of the entrances of the building. These state-of-the-art scanners detect fever-level temperatures in guests as they enter the building, allowing them to efficiently pass the scanner without having to stop if they are registering normal temperatures. Hackensack Meridian Health also supplied Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) for temperature screening assistance and will continue to provide weekly scientific updates as well as policy and procedure reviews.

“Our team was impressed with Bell Works’ comprehensive reopening plan and appreciated the opportunity to see first-hand how the plan translates into reality,” Michael Geiger, Hackensack Meridian Health vice president overseeing the Reopening America Program. “So much of what Bell Works has implemented is on target with regulatory and governmental guidelines, mandates and industry best practices, including measures geared towards improving tenant and visitor circulation through the building, and the implementation of thermal scanning procedures will help identify individuals who can potentially spread infection.”

Additional safety measures, implemented and overseen by the expert Bell Works’ Operational team including Senior Property Manager Pat Garofalo and Head of Tenant Services Brian Anderson, include increased fresh air flow and upgraded air filters, installation of additional hand sanitizer stations with touchless receptacles along the corridors, and implementation of new ‘wave to open’ entry and bathroom doors. Furthermore, all staff, security and maintenance personnel have undergone extensive training in order to reduce the risk for disease transmission, including thermal scanning procedures and protocols in the event a tenant or visitor is found to have an elevated temperature.

“We are committed to ensuring that we exceed the highest standards of health, wellness and quality of life as we welcome back our tenants, their employees and visitors from throughout the region,” added Garofalo.

Interior design and layout enhancements, led by Bell Works Creative Director Paola Zamudio and her team at NPZ Style+Decor, include: additional furniture from Moroso, Hay, and Blue Dot spaced throughout the atrium and outdoor roofdeck to meet social distance mandates; wayfinding graphics that direct and guide foot traffic; and new signage educating tenants and guests on COVID-19 signs, symptoms, etiquette and precautionary measures.

Bell Works’ participation further underscores the unwavering commitment of Somerset Development and the operational team’s dedication to reduce risk and mitigate exposure to COVID-19, reassuring tenants and visitors that it is safe to return to work and/or to resume activities within the building. In addition to aligning with best practice guidelines as specified by Hackensack Meridian Health’s Reopening America Assist Program, the Bell Works team employed a multi-tiered reopening strategy that included physical design changes and operational protocol upgrades,

With the help of HMH, Bell Works has developed its own “Stop the Spread” initiative which includes new house rules, including:

  • Face masks required for entry and at all times in all indoor common areas
  • No pets allowed in the Metroburb until further notice
  • Sanitize laptops, phones, bags, etc
  • Frequent hand washing, for 20 seconds, is highly recommended
  • Do not handle coins or paper money
  • Practice social distancing
  • If you feel sick, please stay home!

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