Now that several months have passed since the initial implementation of temperature screening as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy, we’ve observed firsthand the benefits of and best practices in using these systems effectively. While thermal cameras for COVID-19 mitigation are an excellent tool, they’re not foolproof, especially when not used properly. However, this shouldn’t suggest that body temperature scanning systems shouldn’t be used at all. It just means that they should be used together with other COVID-19 risk mitigation measures.
What are the benefits?
Automated temperature screening systems ought to be one of several tools in an organization’s COVID-19 reopening toolbox because they are non-invasive, fast, cost-accommodating, and relatively accurate in screening for elevated body temperatures associated with COVID-19. The speed of each reading enables you to screen employees and patrons quickly and in short succession. What’s more, is that all screening can be implemented remotely and it won’t require a staff member or other trained person(s) to screen individuals in close proximity – which could potentially expose them or the person being scanned to infection. Given that these systems are digital, the screening data can be stored and/or sent to key team members in a safe and secure way.
What are the best practices for temperature screening?
Prepare the screening environment
There are a lot of considerations to take into account before implementing a body temperature screening system. Think about how you intend to use the temperature screening system: Are you going to use it at entrance points to monitor individuals entering or will you use it inside the building to monitor temperatures multiple times during the day?
Remember, many thermal screening systems will utilize a blackbody calibration device so as to maintain a constant temperature reference point in environments with ambient temperature and humidity. If your thermal-based system does not use a blackbody device, you may have to recalibrate the system more often. It is important to use the system in an area that is indoors, and in a neutral location away from anything that might interfere with the reading, such as bright lights, heaters, sunlight, air conditioning units, windows, doorways, etc.. The FDA recommends a room temperature between 68⁰ and 76⁰ F (20-24⁰ C) and a relative humidity level of 10%-50%. A thermal imaging device specialist can help you determine the best location for setting up your device so that it will function optimally.
Prepare the subject
When it comes to the individuals being screened by the devices, there are some best practices for them to implement as well to ensure the most accurate and effective reading. Fortunately, many temperature detection systems prompt users with steps and best practices on-screen during the short screening process.
The user’s face should not be obstructed with hair, hats, or sunglasses. Our system doesn’t require the removal of face masks and can detect and alert if the user is not complying with wearing a mask.
It is important to remember that the surface temperature of a user’s skin is altered due to environmental factors such as cold or hot weather, perspiration, etc. and it can therefore be difficult to use thermal imaging to accurately measure whether they have an elevated temperature. Controlling the flow of users by delaying screening for several moments until their skin temperature normalizes is suggested. This waiting period can be utilized for other screening methods such as the implementation of a health questionnaire or checking to ensure individuals are wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing.
We have the solution for you
We’ve believed from the beginning that when utilized with multiple mitigation measures and installed and operated with best practices in place, a thermal temperature monitoring system can provide greater peace of mind to anyone reentering publicly or heavily occupied spaces. To learn more about an Infrared Temperature Detection System, contact us today!