Employers and school officials operate by doing temperature screenings before letting anyone in the institution, but how effective are these checks? According to Sumathi Reddy of the Wall Street Journal, doctors and medical experts say that temperature checks are not the best tool for measure against COVID-19.
An average human temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit while a fever is considered anything above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The CDC states that a fever equal to or higher than 100.4 is a symptom of COVID-19, but also notes that results may be affected in healthcare settings and performing these health checks may not be effective in asymptomatic individuals or others with non-specific symptoms. Many other factors such as genetic syndromes and lack of training in COVID-19 safety officers, may trigger or affect temperature screenings and create false positive tests.
Cypress College Art major Jack Taylor has been working as a part time barista in Seal Beach through the entirety of the Coronavirus pandemic. His place of work has only recently begun to perform temperature checks and when asked if checking his temperature made him feel safer about the status of his health he states, “No, I am still working with the general public in a town that mostly refuses to acknowledge safety measures as well as a lack of enforcement from management to bar service from those without masks.” Taylor’s frustration is felt and consistently expressed by other individuals who are also worried about their health in the workplace and what this may possibly look like in a school setting.
As more and more districts and officials continue to reopen schools throughout the United States, the cases of COVID in students continues to spike. According to researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), they have predicted that there will be 295,011 deaths from coronavirus by the first of December if people continue to not wear masks or social distance.
“Going back to school would be catastrophic. No amount of distancing will work on a campus environment where people are enclosed in small classrooms or packed lecture halls. Students are generally very blasé to policing themselves when it comes to feeling sick or taking necessary precautions when sick,” Taylor said in an interview.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that there is currently no readily available vaccine or any specific medicine or treatment to treat COVID, as students who are infected with COVID have very limited options and help when it comes to this disease.
Temperature screenings alone is not proven as an effective way of stopping the spread. Through self-awareness and checking for other symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, and body aches you can personally limit the spread.