There are more than one ways you can use to protect the employees conducting temperature screening at the entry point of your facility:
This is totally state specific. State health departments have issued individual advisories for workplaces in general to contain the spread of COVID-19. While only a few states “require” temperature screening of employees, most states “recommend” doing it. Barring a few, most jurisdictions have not specified the size of the business required to have the temperature check facility.
For example - In Colorado, only large businesses with over 50 employees are required to have a temperature check facility. There is no such requirement for small businesses with staff size less than 50. Some other states have recommendations for restaurants, bars, casinos, gyms, fitness centers, personal care services,
Because of COVID-19, temperature screening is becoming a norm at workplaces. High body temperature is one of the first signs in illnesses like influenza and COVID-19. A temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit may indicate that your body is combating an infection.Therefore temperature screening must be conducted at workplaces even if the employee or visitor looks healthy. Temperature scanning will help detect people who might be unsafe if they come in contact with other people in your facility. By separating such individuals, you can protect the health and safety of other customers, staff, and visitors. Also, customers and employees will frequent such businesses more often which have temperature screening systems as their routine requirement.
Yes, provided that temperature screening is conducted safely, consistently and in a non-discriminatory manner.
Although, taking the employee's body temperature falls under medical examination. And, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits conducting medical examinations, in general, unless they are job-related and consistent with business necessity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health authorities have acknowledged that COVID-19 spreads through contact and have been stated that “employers may measure employees' body temperature.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has also allowed businesses to check the body temperature of employees and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The temperature result and all information about employee illness, however, should be kept confidential in compliance with the ADA and the screening staff should be trained on the procedure.
This again is state-specific. So while the minimum temperature value to be considered as fever is 100.4 degree Farenhite in Ohio, it’s 99.5 degrees in Delaware. Since businesses are private properties, they can make their own rules regarding entry or follow the state recommendations. High body temperature can be one of the early symptoms of coronavirus and therefore businesses and workplaces may deny entry to employees, customers, or visitors based on their temperature results. Individuals with body temperature higher than the limit set by the public health departments in states can be considered unsafe for others and therefore they can be sent home. CDC clearly states that individuals should be encourages not to attempt to enter the workplace if fever equal to or higher than 100.4oF*. It also suggests that a lower temperature threshold (e.g., 100.0 degree F) may be used in healthcare settings.
CDC states that “Screening employees is an optional strategy that employers may use.” Conducting temperature checks will not be a sureshot measure to identify Coronavirus carriers. That’s because even asymptomatic individuals with lower temperature may carry the virus without realizing and are capable of passing it to everyone in a gathering. While fever can be a symptom of Covid-19, not everyone infected with the virus develops a fever. Even the accuracy of thermometer guns and scanners is questionable. Temperature screening and other health checks should not be considered a replacement for other protective measures such as social distancing to prevent the spread of disease.
There are two approaches suggested by the CDC for safe temperature screening. Following are the guidelines under each of these approaches: