COVID-19: Virginia Emergency Infectious Disease Act
What is the Emergency Infectious Disease Act?
In July 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry voted to implement strict work-place standards in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Part of the mandate requires “Preventive Measures.” It states, “employers must establish and implement a system for self-assessment and screening for COVID-19 signs and symptoms and implement procedures that will prevent sick employees and other persons from infecting healthy employees.“
Important for employers to consider:
- Many individuals diagnosed with coronavirus do not have an elevated temperature. Thus, taking employees’ temperatures may not accurately identify employees who have or may have the virus.
- The testing results are medical information about the employee, and the employer must comply with ADA confidentiality requirements concerning that information.
- Employers who elect to take employees’ temperatures should do so on a nondiscriminatory basis – this may include an all-or-none approach or limiting testing only to those employees who are required to work in closer quarters or come in contact with clients or customers.
- Employers should set a temperature threshold over which employees will not be allowed to enter the workplace. Based on other guidance from the Centers For Disease Control (“CDC”), a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a “fever” and, therefore, maybe a reasonable standard for decision-making.
- Employers should create a policy and practice for such testing, including the consequences for employees who have a high temperature, and communicate that policy to employees before the screening begins.
- Employers should consider some temperature monitoring system at their facility’s entrance, similar to these tablets.
Helping Keep People Safe and Healthy
With COVID-19 cases on the rise throughout the country, we expect to see the same percentage of increase in Virginia. We are also entering the most contagious time for the spread of the flu. Both COVID and the flu can have similar symptoms and can be very serious to some people. Protection of your employee, guests, vendors, students can go a long way to helping keep people safe and healthy.
Why is Body Temperature Measurement Kiosks Beneficial?
There are several benefits of Temperature Measurement Kiosks, in this article, we will outline these:
1. They are fast and accurate.
When it comes to welcoming people to your organization, school, or place of worship, you want accurate readings, and you want them as fast as possible. This prevents people from standing in line longer than they need.
2. They are safe to use.
Some places you visit have someone standing at the door to read your temperature with a handheld reader. This isn’t the safest method to gather information because it puts the person collecting the temperature readings at risk because of the proximity. Kiosks are free-standing and used without close human contact to collect readings.
3. They are easy.
The last thing anyone needs during the stress of a pandemic is something to complicate or disrupt your workflow. The Temperature Kiosks are easy to set up and require little interaction. We installed several in a single church, and everything was set up and working within 15 minutes.
4. It helps remind visitors to wear their face mask.
Our lives are all about habits. We have been in the habit of getting out of the car and entering a business or building for years. Now we have to wear a mask, and sometimes we forget to bring it with us or place it on our faces. The Temperature Kiosks will politely remind everyone to wear a mask.
5. Cost effective.
The Temperature Kiosks cost is less than a cup of coffee a day, and when you figure the costs of an employee having to stop what they are doing and take someone’s temperature, it pays for itself. Plus, even if COVID-19 has an effective vaccine, we still have the flu every year, and this is just another tool to help your office, business, school, or church stay safe.
Links to websites for reference:
What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
Virginia Emergency Temporary Standard Infectious Disease Prevention §16VAC25-220
Safely Cleaning and Disinfecting Commonly Touched Devices
Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19
Cleaning, Disinfection, and Hand Hygiene in Schools – a Toolkit for School Administrators
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
Use Technology To Make Your Office Safe
Safely Welcome Employees and Visitors to Your Office
COVID-19 in the Workplace: Taking Employees’ Temperatures At Work
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