07 Aug 2022

Irish healthcare worker's stark warning over Covid-19 temperature checks

Irish healthcare worker's stark warning over Covid-19 temperature checks

Irish healthcare worker's stark warning over Covid-19 temperature checks

An Irish healthcare worker who has contracted Covid-19 has issued a warning about the effectiveness of temperature-checking for the virus.

Many shops and workplaces like factories are using temperature-checking systems upon entry to spot potential Covid-19 cases, while regular temperature checks are also carried out on patients and residents in hospitals and long-term care facilities for the same reason.

A healthcare worker has called into question this regular method of monitoring. The worker who is from Offaly but works in a residential care facility in Meath said: "We are being told by the HSE to rely on taking temperatures as a sign of Covid-19. I get that every case is different but to be told if you don't have a temperature, you're unlikely to have Covid is completely false."

"In my workplace, we have been following the guidelines to the letter and we are still overrun with it. We are a residential service and six or seven people we support are affected by this and nine staff, including myself. None of us were showing a temperature," the worker explained.

"It just bugs me how restaurants and workplaces are so reliant upon a temperature check when it doesn't seem to be a safe method. A temperature check is seen as enough to warrant you as 'okay' when you could be silently suffering.

"The HSE needs to readvise or inform people that temperature checking isn't 100%," they added.

"In our workplace, we do not know how it was contracted, only that one person brought it in and everyone else is suffering the consequences, myself included."

The HSE reiterates that the most common symptoms of Covid-19 a fever or high temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above, a cough and shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.

They also urge employers to follow the government's 'Return to Work Protocol,' which specifically urges them to implement Covid-19 prevention and control measures to minimise the risk to workers.

These measures included a pre-return to work form to be filled in by employees, specific safety training, the displaying of Covid-19 symptoms and actions required if symptomatic, as well as the implementation of temperature testing in line with public health advice."

Temperature checking is listed among a suite of measures to minimise and control the spread of the virus in the protocols, according to the HSE.

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