Temperature Monitoring Research and Thermal Infared Thermometers

Can an employer require temperature screening for entry to work?

Yes, the US Employment Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has re-issued its guidance, Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act confirming specifically that the COVID-19 pandemic permits employers to measure employees’ body temperatures before allowing them to enter the worksite.  It must be implemented on a nondiscriminatory basis, and all information should be treated as confidential medical information under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Can unlicensed staff take temperatures?

Yes, the 1/7/29 memo Guidelines for Determining a Student with a Disability's Need for a One-to-One Nurse includes a list on attachment B of health task/activities that may be performed by trained unlicensed school personnel as assessed and approved by the school nurse (RN) or medical director consistent with state laws. Measurement and recording of vital signs that can be performed according to standard procedures.

What data is available about the prevalence of temperature as a symptom with COVID?

The predominant signs and symptoms of COVID-19 reported to date among all patients are similar to other viral respiratory infections, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Although these signs and symptoms may occur at any time during the overall disease course, children with COVID-19 may not initially present with fever and cough as often as adult patients.4,15,16 In a report of nine hospitalized infants in China with confirmed COVID-19, only half presented with fever.9 Gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, were reported in a minority of adult patients.17 In one pediatric case of COVID-19, diarrhea was the only symptom reported.10 (CDC 4/17/20)

What information is available about Non-Contact Infrared Thermometers (NCIT)?

The US FDA provides an overview. Before NCITs are used, it is important to understand the benefits, limitations, and proper use of these thermometers. Improper use of NCITs may lead to inaccurate measurements of temperature.

This information shares that infrared thermometers do not affect the Pineal gland. (July 28, 2020)

NIH research that describes how an infrared thermometer works and its efficacy during the earlier SARS outbreak. It reviews use at different locations and found the wrist to be significantly different.

What is a Fever |Temperature?

Page updated 2/26/2021 7:19 PM