Determining what you need to do as an employer for worker health and safety during an ebbing pandemic is complicated. There are typically three layers of government, and viewing all of these is important. While many employers are accustomed to looking at federal and state level, the pandemic has seen orders from counties and sometimes cities. Here is the latest on symptom and temperature checks in the workplace.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC says to “consider conducting” health checks here.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
There is no OSHA standard specific to COVID-19. They refer to CDC and local authorities.
The OSHA guidance says:
Providing guidance on screening and testing: Follow state or local guidance and priorities for screening and viral testing in workplaces. Testing in the workplace may be arranged through a company’s occupational health provider or in consultation with the local or state health department. Employers should inform workers of employer testing requirements, if any, and the availability of testing options. CDC has published strategies for consideration of incorporating viral testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, into workplace COVID-19 preparedness, response, and control plans. See below for more on the use of testing to determine when a worker may return to work after illness or exposure.
OHSA Note: Performing screening or health checks is not a replacement for other protective measures such as face coverings and physical distancing. Asymptomatic individuals or individuals with mild non-specific symptoms may not realize they are infected and may not be detected through screening.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) had the latest update when the Public Health Order was issued on Sunday, May 2, 2021. Under section B.3, the order states:
“Disease mitigation practices. Employers and sole proprietors are strongly encouraged to follow the best practices for disease mitigation found in CDPHE Guidance.” This CDPHE Guidance contains the temperature control procedures. This is in effect until at least May 15, 2021.
County guidelines may be more strict, and because the Colorado Governor has allowed counties to take the lead on the health orders, employers in counties with higher incidences of this disease may have more restrictive orders. Check your county for details.
Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order on March 25 lifting all state COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and this would include temperature checks. You can read Governor Ducey’s order ending COVID-19 restrictions.
New Mexico has symptom checking in place, and here are the requirements.
It appears that Utah is still outlining symptom checking in its public health order.
There doesn’t appear to be any order regarding symptom checking in Wyoming.
In addition to all the above, municipalities may have stricter requirements, so know your local ordinances as well. If you have questions, contact us. We can help.