How to Screen Visitors for COVID-19 in the Workplace
As employers develop their own return to work plans and consider the path back to the office, the first step is always to ensure the health and safety of their employees. While employees are rightfully top of mind, one equally important area to think through is how to screen visitors for COVID-19 and integrate them into your screening policies.
While some businesses will be able to move forward without allowing visitors into the workplace, many must make considerations for visitors in order to reopen appropriately. Depending on your organization’s needs there is a large range of screening scenarios that may work for you. It’s important all employers remember to include visitors in their return to work planning and communicate it with all employees and the public as necessary.
First Determine Your Screening Needs
The purpose of creating a plan for handling visitors is to protect staff and visitors from exposure. Taking proactive steps helps keep everyone safe and gives employers a detailed record to look back on in the case of a positive COVID-19 test result.
Perhaps your business only sees a few visitors a week and will be requiring visitors to wear masks, social distance and sign in upon arrival. If your business has a higher level of visitor activity or has an increased risk of close physical contact you may require a screening questionnaire and temperature check before a visitor can enter your business.
Take the time to think about what level of screening makes sense for your workplace and what will keep employees protected. Once you know what you will require of your visitors, you can then communicate your new policy and open your doors with confidence.
Details to Consider in a Visitor Screening Policy
If you are planning on starting to screen visitors for COVID-19 here are some factors to consider:
Ensure screening is done while maintaining physical distancing, if possible
Proactive screening questionnaires help to assess visitor risk factors before they are inside your workplace. Ensuring you have all the information you need before a visitor arrives can make the process more efficient and allow you to communicate your policy requirements well in advance, while maintaining a distance. This also allows you to display and get sign-off for all legal messaging about data collection, privacy, tracing procedures before you accept a visitor.
Develop a communication plan so all parties are aware of screening requirements
If you are not conducting early screening, how will you be communicating your visitor policies to the public? Whose responsibility is it to conduct screening on site and make sure visitors are following your policy requirements? These types of details should be well communicated and understood by your staff and visitors.
Gain Information for Potential Contact Tracing
Along with the basic visitor details of name, email, and phone number make sure to gather a full detailed record of who your visitors came into close contact with in case of future contact tracing. COVID-19 employee and visitor screening applications have made this easy by automatically tracking employee schedules and screening results while flagging potential exposure.
Determine your response to visitors who do not want to follow your policies
There may be visitors who do not want to follow your screening procedures. Make sure you are clear with employees on what to do in these cases.
Screening and Exposure Prevention Methods
Not sure what kind of screening to consider for your business? Here are some of the common methods:
- Mandatory masks
- Limited visitor hours and/or locations within workplace
- Social distanced meeting spaces
- No handshake rules
- Contact tracing visitor sign-in and out
- Training videos on new visitor requirements
- Pre-screening questionnaires
- Temperature screening
- Testing availability and considerations vary from country to country, region to region. Click here for detailed information from the CDC on how to determine if your workplace should conduct testing.
If you are looking for a simple and straightforward way to implement proactive COVID-19 screening our Personal Protective App is what you’re looking for. Contact us today and get started!