Is employee temperature screening important? What about screening employees for other symptoms? Should we be doing both? These are basic questions that we have all thought through while constructing our return-to-work plans. The answer we have come to know is both, but with so much information out there, it can seem unclear whether running a fever is a true leading indicator of COVID-19 infection? Yes, having a fever can be a sign of general infection/sickness so it is important to monitor; but as the world continues to learn about the Coronavirus, we are discovering the increasing importance of other symptoms in determining whether or not a person requires testing.
For the last month and a half, the CDC’s top recommended strategy for employers in COVID-19 preparedness is to conduct “daily health checks” that ask employees about relevant symptoms in addition to body temperature.
In OSHA’s Guidance On Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, there is significant weight placed on symptoms as a whole versus temperature. OSHA refers to it repeatedly as “signs and symptoms.” From the self-reporting of symptoms to the isolation of those showing signs and symptoms, OSHA follows the CDC’s lead in focusing on symptoms first and temperature second.
States are showing the same concern. In a list (updated June 22nd) showing state recommendations and requirements regarding employer temperature and symptom screenings, many states that recommend both taking temperature and asking about symptoms, but very few that require both. There are no states that require temperature alone as a health screening measure.
With the CDC, OSHA and even our states acknowledging symptoms such as shortness of breath and loss of taste or smell as primary indicators of COVID-19 as opposed to body temperature, it is important to follow their guidance. We all share a responsibility to keep our workspaces safe and healthy, and for those of us that are accountable for the health and wellbeing of employees, Modjoul’s health screening app has the solution to fit your company’s needs. If you would like to know more, please send us a message or give us a call. We are happy to work WITH you to develop a return to work screening solution.