Is symptom screening the new normal?

When employers, managers, and employees all started managing COVID-19 symptom screening, everyone was under the assumption that it would last a few weeks at most.

A year later, we are still screening frontline employees for symptoms and monitoring temperatures. Vaccine rollout should have been the light at the end of the tunnel, but with the current vaccine hesitation levels across frontline teams, the ?new normal? is likely to include symptom screening as part of the everyday shift duties.

With a 56% vaccine acceptance rate, 44% still need protection

Many people are still hesitant about the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine; The average vaccine acceptance rate in the United States is 56.9% with 44% of the population not planning on getting a vaccine.

Employers can legally require their employees to vaccinate, but many are not making vaccinations mandatory for their teams.

How do we get ?back to normal? with such a large portion of people not being vaccinated?

We can start by working on transparent communication about vaccine safety with parts of the team that may be hesitant, and continue with symptom screening to keep the rest of the team safe in the meantime.

Encourage vaccine safety in employee communications

Open up the channels of communication to talk openly about vaccine hesitancy and vaccine safety. Studies have shown that increasing empathy reduces stigma when it comes to vaccination.

Make it simple for your employees to get vaccinated by encouraging them with information on where to get a vaccine, what to expect, and how they can communicate scheduling needs with their manager.

For many people, their employers are their main source of information, so sharing reliable and credible information about vaccine safety is a great way to help a hesitant part of your workforce feel better about vaccination.

Symptom screening to keep your team safe

Pre-shift symptom screening is universally accepted as a method for limiting COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.

Things to think about with symptom screening:

  • What is the easiest way for your team to complete this process
  • What information should you capture
  • What the policy is if someone reports for symptoms
  • How will everyone be notified (EHS, HR, rest of team)
  • How will you retain the data
  • Who will be able to access the information

Symptom screening is an effective method of decreasing exposure not only to COVID-19 but to any other virus that may appear down the road. Being able to reach your team?s before they come onsite in a simple and effective way helps make things easier and saves everyone time.

Note: Commentary from TeamSense should not be construed to be authoritative legal or public health guidance. Organizations should follow the latest guidance from relevant governmental and public health authorities and seek counsel from appropriate Legal, HR, and EHS professionals.

TeamSense is a text-based digital platform that enhances productivity and connection with hourly workers. The platform is commonly deployed as an attendance management and mass messaging tool. Automatic notifications are triggered to admins (via text or email or both!) based on employee responses, keeping everyone on the same page instantaneously.


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