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5 Considerations for Employee Health Screening

June 10, 2020

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Companies are looking for ways to make the workplace as safe as possible, and the concept of screening employees for COVID-19 has become part of the workday. What should you consider when evaluating screening methods?

It is important to note that Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-97 (Safeguards to protect Michigan’s workers from COVID-19) recommends, and in some settings, requires temperature screening.

1. Who will you be screening?   

Will you screen all employees, or only those who opt in? Most employers have chosen to require employee screening.  You may consider screening visitors, contractors, vendors, or customers. This choice will depend on the nature of your business. 

Whether your screening is mandatory or optional, your policy should be objective, non-discriminatory, and communicated with advance notice.

2. Which kind of health check will you perform?

Organizations should consider conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks (symptoms and/or temperature screening) of employees before they enter the facility, in accordance with state and local public health authorities. 

3. On-site screening vs. home screening

Choosing on-site screening will guarantee compliance, but there are details that employers need to consider.  Who will conduct the screens?  How will you protect your screeners? Who will plan the logistics – social distancing of employees waiting to be tested? Staggering start times? How will you distinguish who has been tested?  At a recent ASE Roundtable, one member stated they are giving employees a wrist band once they go through screening.

Employers of all sizes are opting to use apps to have employees self-screen prior to entering the facility.  These apps allow employers to set up symptom and fever checks.  Many apps are free and allow for record keeping and notifiers functions. 

Available apps include:
MI Symptom App

If you choose to do the tracking on your own, Microsoft Forms may be a good solution.  It allows you to quickly create a form, collect responses in real time, and view automatic charts to visualize your data.

4. What information will be captured and retained?

Create an easy template to capture this information consistently.

If you do capture information, it must remain confidential, and “the ADA requires that all medical information about a particular employee be stored separately from the employee’s personnel file.”

5. How will you respond if someone does not “pass” the screen?

A policy should be communicated to employees on who to contact if they “fail” the screen. That contact should be trained in what the next steps are for that employee. 

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