In the United States, COVID-19 cases are surging despite social distancing efforts. Many protocols have been put in place like wearing masks and keeping 6 feet away from each other, but more needs to be done in some places. Many businesses and employers are utilizing a system of health screening questions to ask people before they enter establishments.
Why Use Screening Questions?
Using a set of safety and health questions to screen people before granting entry helps to minimize the spread of infection. As of right now, many places only rely on checking body temperature as a way to keep out infected people. Even though a fever is a common symptom of COVID, there are some carriers who don’t show any symptoms. A temperature scanner would not be able to detect a carrier if they don’t have a fever and letting them in would put everyone else at risk of infection. A better way of screening visitors and employees would be using health screening questions.
Although the screening questions are not a substitute for a COVID test, it provides more information about exposure. One question that could be asked is, “Have you been in close contact someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19?” This helps to identify potential carriers without symptoms. Other screening questions can be asked about COVID-specific symptoms (shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, etc.) to filter out those who may have a cough due to another illness. It’s also useful for identifying those who don’t have a fever but are showing other symptoms.
Who Can Use This?
Using health screening questions is a great way to minimize exposure to the virus, but it’s not a method that can be used at every public place since answering the questions take up a little more time. Here are some places where this practice would get the best results.
Medical Clinics & Hospitals
This practice would especially be invaluable in medical institutions. Many immunocompromised patients visit medical centers so it is important that their risk of exposure is small because contracting the virus could be fatal for them. By asking everyone to answer screening questions before entering the building, physicians are able to modify their care if someone is suspected to have COVID. They could choose to have a virtual appointment instead or to suggest that the person go to a COVID-19 testing site. They could also take the person to a designated area away from other patients to ensure no contact. Physicians would be able to protect themselves by knowing when to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in preparation to visit with an infected patient.
These screening questions would also be suitable for any workplace. Social distancing is not just important between employees and customers, but among employees and employers as well. Each employee can be asked these questions before entering the workplace to make sure they are not potentially exposing their coworkers to the virus. Anyone who is showing symptoms or has been exposed to someone sick can be sent home and be asked to get tested before returning.
At 2M, we offer a great option for those seeking to implement this system into their medical centers or workplaces.
This system is compatible with the screening questions software and also detects mask usage and high body temperatures. You are able to customize up to 5 different questions and control access based on responses. This allows for social distancing since the questions can be asked and submitted electronically. There won’t be a need to hire someone to stand at the entrance and ask people face-to-face which increases physical contact.
Many states are warning people that a second wave of COVID-19 is coming soon. Make sure your business is safe and minimizing the spread of infection with the help of screening questions.
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