Best Practices While Implementing Protocols to Take Employee Temperatures During the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Businesses that are open during the COVID-19 pandemic are wondering and being hit with the challenges of how to minimize spreading the virus. Many of these essential employers have started taking employees’ temperatures to eliminate risk of spreading the virus. This type of screening is to help make sure that employees with symptoms will not be infecting their coworkers.
Who Should Take the Temperature?
Trained medical professionals are best practice! The trained personnel should be taking and training non-medical personnel to do so.
Some employers do not have trained staff on-site to help them with these processes. This is where Trust In Us is available to help and make things easier to conduct.
The staff taking temperatures will need to know a temperature that is too low and a temperature that is too high. All of this should be documented.
The use of equipment that requires no direct contact between the temperature taker and the employees. Forehead scanners are a good example of equipment that minimizes contact. You should make sure to thoroughly clean the thermometers between each employee. If there are no directions to follow in how to clean the thermometer, rinse the tip of the thermometer in cold water, clean it with alcohol or alcohol swabs, and then rinse it again before next use.
If the thermometer that is available requires contact, the temperature taker should be equipped with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of both the employee and the temperature taker.
This PPE should include: Gloves, Goggles, Face Masks, long sleeves under scrubs - gowns (if possible). The gloves should be disposed of between each scan.
Waiting in line - What Can You Implement to Practice Social Distancing?
Employers should be conscious of social distancing and the employees waiting in line should also be following best practices:
Additional shifts could be established to minimize the number of employees on the job-site at once
Staggering shift start and end times. This could eliminate employees from overcrowding during shift changes at entrances and exits.
Create a boundary where employees can enter through a temperature checking line
Have multiple lines to reduce crowds
Place markings on the floor to show the 6 foot distance radius if lines do start to form.
Keep the temperature taking time under a minute to ensure that lines are less-likely to form
What Constitutes a Fever?
The CDC states - for COVID-19 - that a fever has any temperature at 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. As the employer, you should also consult state and local guidelines regarding temperature levels. Different states will have different thresholds for what constitutes a fever.
Individual Tested Positive? What to do:
Notify the employee that he/she has a fever and notify them that they will not be allowed into the job-site. The employee should begin quarantine procedures; YES this means the individual should not return to work for 14 days. The individual should only return to work IF he/she has been fever free for three (3) days and is otherwise symptom-free as well.
Keeping Record of the Temperature Checks
If you are keeping records of the temperatures the information must be kept confidential under the ADA and only provided to those who should have knowledge of the information. Instead of recording each individual’s temperature, you can record “Yes” or “No” to indicate fever or no fever. Regardless, ALL information that is recorded should be kept confidential.
Finally, note that taking temperatures and screening employees for fever is not going to stop the spread of COVID-19. There is still too much information that is unknown to the medical community. Asymptomatic individuals may be infected with COVID-19 and still transmit the virus to others.
Remember that taking temperatures does not eliminate the need to practice other steps in order to avoid the spread of the virus.
Trust In Us provides clean cubicles to set up and and tear down for a nominal fee. Trust In Us will also provide a professional office installer to ensure that compliance is met.
Trust In Us will also provide distance stickers, handouts, and hand sanitizer.
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