New Michigan-made machine screens customers for COVID-19

Posted at 1:28 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 13:28:05-04

It takes only 15 seconds and it does everything humans would do at the doorway of businesses or public places that screen people for entry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new start-up company called Genatek Global developed the machines. They take your temperature and determine with facial recognition software if your must-wear mask is properly fitted.

If you pass that, you get a green light. You get touch-free hand sanitizer and then walk through a chamber that contains an FDA-approved mist. Hannah Weigand with Genatek says, “When you go into the supermarket and you see all of that mist on your fruits and vegetables, it’s the same thing. So you can eat it, drink it and now you can walk through it.”

This was developed by entrepreneurs, mechanical and software engineers and it’s made in mid-Michigan. Johnny Cooper, president of Genatek, says, “There’s 16 of us in the company right now, doing the design. In Michigan, we make stuff, right?”

This is optional outside of the Fireplace Bar and Grille in Fenton. Some customers walk right by the machine outside of the front door. The bar owner, Joe Gilbert, says this is not here to cause trouble. He and his staff have to tell customers to wear those masks, “Usually when I ask them, they do. I ask the staff not to get into a confrontation. I’ll ask in a nice way.”

Gilbert says most of his customers use it. And two walking in, Dianne and Ray Brantley, did without hesitation.

Ray says, “I think it’s pretty innovative. It’s the first I’ve ever heard or seen of anything like this.” Dianne added, “I think it will help with the safety factor. So, it’s kind of cool.”

The price tag is about $20,000, but there are lease and rental options.

Nothing is 100% protecting against COVID-19, but this could come close. Cooper says, “At that 95 percentile rate, we’re going to save a lot of people a lot of heartache. A lot of businesses closing down.”

Cooper says they can adapt the components to fit into a bus for students or in public transportation. And they can add a metal detector for entrances into secure buildings.

The website of the company is: