Customer Temperature Checks

Customer Temperature Checks

With the rise of Omicron, it seems clear that we are not getting rid of COVID-19 anytime soon.  We all want to avoid another shutdown, but how can a business protect its employees and its customers from a potentially fatal disease?  One way is through temperature checks.  While a fever does not necessarily indicate COVID-19 or any other illness, it is one way to help protect people inside your business. 

Are temperature scans right for your business?  The answer to that depends on a number of factors.  Most Americans have become accustomed to temperature scans at certain locations.  For example, medical facilities have had temperature scans before people enter since close to the beginning of the pandemic.  However, these facilities tend to be smaller and have fewer customers than retail stores.  Is the same type of temperature scan feasible in a retail environment? 

We think the answer to that question is yes.  It starts with non-invasive temperature screening.  We offer temperature scanners that can be used at a safe distance and indicate whether or not someone has a fever.  For diagnostic purposes, a fever is not just an elevated temperature, but a body temperature over 100.4.  This weeds out people who just have higher body temperatures.  

The challenge, of course, is how to get customers to stop for temperature checks.   In larger establishments, this may mean limiting the number of entrances.  You also have to be prepared for some customers to either refuse checks or to try to enter the establishment, even if they register a fever.  In fact, while many people have grown accustomed to COVID-19 precautions, others have become hostile to them.  When designing a temperature screening program, you want to make sure that you keep employee safety in mind. 

You also have to figure out how to serve customers who either do not want to submit to temperature scans or who have a fever.  Most major grocery chains already offer curbside delivery options, which do allow customers to use those services.  However, they do have surcharges and additional fees that may make the inaccessible for some customers.  Waiving those fees for customers who are sick or show an elevated temperature at screening might be a good policy for a store. 

 Finally, you want to be responsive.  Right now, the United States is experiencing a COVID-19 wave due to the Omicron variant.  Measuring temperatures could be a good way to help slow the spread.  Once Omicron is under control, temperature checks may no longer be necessary.