Worksite Temperature Screening for COVID-19

J Occup Environ Med. 2021 Aug 1;63(8):638-641. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002245.


Objective: To determine whether temperature screening is useful in detecting and reducing workplace transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Methods: A survey was conducted to determine whether temperature screening successfully identified workers with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among a convenience sample of medical directors of multinational corporations in a wide range of industries.

Results: More than 15 million screenings were performed by 14 companies. Fewer than 700 episodes of fever were identified. Of these, only about 53 cases of COVID-19 were detected. By contrast about 2000 workers with diagnosed COVID-19 were in the workplace and not detected by screening.

Conclusions: One case of COVID-19 was identified by screening for approximately every 40 cases that were missed. Worksite temperature screening was ineffective for detecting workers with COVID-19 and is not recommended.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Temperature
  • Workplace*