Screening Employees for COVID-19

To help protect the public against the spread of COVID-19, some states, and many employers have implemented employee screening procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to the workforce. The following information can act as a guide for employers who may wish to screen employees each day before work:

  • All employees who are able to work from home should be working from home at this time.
  • For those employees who must report: each employee should have their temperature taken each day, and if they have a fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, that employee should be sent home. The employee should monitor their symptoms and call a doctor or use telemedicine if their symptoms concern them.
    • This employee can return to work when:
      • They have had NO fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND
      • There is improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) for three (3) days; AND
      • At least seven (7) days have passed since their symptoms began.
    • If your employee presents with a fever and has recently traveled to an area with community spread of COVID-19, they are required to stay home for 14 days from the time they were exposed to COVID-19.
      • They can return to work after meeting the same qualifications, after their 14-day quarantine, or if a doctor determines the cause of their fever is not COVID-19 and approves their return.
    • It is best to use touchless thermometers (forehead/ temporal artery thermometers) if possible, but if you must use oral or other types of thermometers, make sure to clean the thermometers thoroughly between each employee, as to not spread infection.
      • Follow the manufacturer’s directions to disinfect the thermometer.
      • If no directions are available, rinse the tip of the thermometer in cold water, clean it with alcohol or alcohol swabs, and then rinse it again.
    • If you do not have thermometers on site, have your employees take their temperatures at home. They should stay home if they have a fever and follow the same protocol.

Questionnaire

There is currently a shortage on thermometers. If you cannot find thermometers, and employees do not have one at home to check their temperature you can screen each incoming employee with a basic questionnaire:

  • Do you have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath)?
    • No – proceed to work.
    • Yes, but symptoms have a known cause (asthma, COPD, chronic sinusitis, etc.) – proceed to the next question.
    • Yes – Employee will be sent home. Employee is required to stay home for at least 7 days from the time they experienced symptoms AND at least three days after they have no fever (without taking medication to reduce fever) AND have improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath).
  • Have you been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 or an impacted area?
    • No – proceed to work.
    • Yes, and not experiencing symptoms – employee will be required to stay at home for 14 days from the time they were exposed to confirmed COVID-19 or left the impacted area.
    • Yes, and exhibiting symptoms – employee is required to stay home for at least 14 days from the time they were exposed. Employee can return to work after their quarantine when it has been 7 days from the time they experienced symptoms AND at least three days after they have no fever (without taking medication to reduce fever) AND have improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath).
  • If at any time a doctor confirms the cause of their fever or other symptoms is not COVID-19 and approves them to return to work, then employees can return.
  • Please remember to continue to follow preventative measures no matter how many employees are in the office — physical distancing, stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene as often as possible. Clean all high-touch surfaces regularly.