Coronavirus general discussion and chit-chat

Let’s use this thread for general discussion about coronavirus and discussions that don’t necessarily need their own thread.

One thing I’ve been wondering is how effective temperature checks of the general public are at identifying infected people. Lots of businesses do temperature checks of customers. I’m sure if someone had a fever, the temperature check would catch that. But what percentage of customers have a fever? There is a risk of doing a temperature check to the employee who is standing in close contact and there may be potential for contact transmission from the thermometer if it gets infected. If virtually no one is flagged as having a fever, then the risks to the employee are probably not worth it. Infected people can shed virus even though they don’t have a fever, so the employees may be putting themselves in a position to get exposed multiple times without identifying any infected person.


I mean, if a person has a 102 or more fever, fine. Send them home. But how many people did they infect in the days before their fever got that high.

It’s more of the discussion (which belongs here, if anywhere, rather than in the Breaking News thread) about what exactly is testing supposed to accomplish.

I’m NOT saying testing is bad or useless or that we shouldn’t do it.

I just want to know what is the best thing to do with the individual results. I can see that the group results would be useful, especially WRT super-spreader events. And yeah, if you test positive, you can isolate yourself from your family. But if you do test positive, you might have been spreading the virus to your family for days or longer before you had the test. Still, I guess you’d rather have it confirmed than not.

And testing negative isn’t a “home free” card.

I think it’s worthwhile if you’re about to share a small indoor space with a crowd, like airplanes.

Yeah, it would suck to be turned back. But if your caution can spread it or stop the spread, which side will you err on?

It seems legit to turn those people back to me. And I have yet to see any real outrage because of it.

Where hubs works he’s tested every morning when he arrives. And I feel better knowing they test everyone coming into the building.

I got a temperature check. They did not touch me with the thermometer. It seemed like a precise IR vision device (it probably did not create an actual image, as nobody looked through it, but it gave an accurate temperature, confirmed by physical thermometer at home).

While the victim may have been infected and spreading for days, now they know to self-isolate and not potentially infect more people.

I agree that there is potential to help, but how many CV19 people have actually been found with these temperature checks? I’ve heard of lots of businesses doing temperature checks, but I can’t recall hearing any stats about how many feverish people these businesses have identified. And considering that the low-level employees doing the temperature checks don’t seem to be wearing any special protection for that potentially dangerous interaction, the risks to the employee seem too high for the low amount of feverish people found.

I’ve read of them finding someone with a fever.

They’re scanned from enough of a distance that contamination isn’t really an issue.

It may only find small subset of infected people, but would you rather those people didn’t get stopped?

Wouldn’t this be considered private medical information?

Ours is a line with 2 m distance measured out, along with a camera and a person wearing a mask on the other side of the monitor.

You enter through a large door, put disinfectant on your hands and move through the line.

I think the first weeks they had a personal infrared thermometer, but they’ve been using the camera with a monitor ever since then.

And we each get a sticker which is only valid for the day, so it’s quite obvious if someone doesn’t have the correct sticker. Today’s was boring, but last week’s had a cute little worm on it.

The person who is monitoring the display from the camera, writing down the names and giving out the stickers is from the same company that handles campus security.

This is the way to do it. What got my wondering was the picture in this article:

In case you can’t see it, there’s a picture in the article where the hostess is doing a temperature check on a customer. The hostess looks to be about 2’ away wearing a sewn cloth mask and the customer has a bandanna. In the event the customer was sick, the bandanna would do almost nothing and he would be exhaling virus all over the hostess. Her basic cloth mask would just block a fraction of the virus from being inhaled. Her exposed eyes and face would be covered in virus. Her hands would be contaminated and she would transfer that contamination to the menus when she sat the party at their table. That’s a lot of potential exposure for potentially little benefit. The temperature checks at major sites like amusement parks have the temperature checkers in full medical PPE (shield, mask, gown, etc) and that’s all they are doing. But in regular businesses like restaurants, having the hostess do temperature checks seems risky and essentially worthless.

Has anyone seen reports from major sites, like Disneyland, about how many feverish people were found during their temperature checks and turned away?

When I broke down and went for a haircut, I got scanned at the door with an IR temperature scanner. Maybe there’s a shortage of this type with the upsurge in demand.

I get what you are saying about the risk possibly being higher from checking than from the few people who will have a fever.

My only experiences of temperature checks have been when I went to the dentist, and my kid getting checked before her occupational therapy appointment. This makes sense to me as in both instances, the check precedes even closer contact. So it is part of a series of screening layers. (Being met at the car to check in, being asked about symptoms or exposure, everyone wearing masks, then temperature check, then proceeding with appointment.)

It would not make as much sense to me for, say, entry into a grocery store, if it was exceedingly rare to find a person with a fever. I’m not sure how often would make it worth it.

Regardless of using a no contact thermometer, using a thermometer means being closer than 6 feet apart.

So does getting your hair cut, getting your restaurant food placed on the table, etc. In situations where closer contact or prolonged contact is likely, I’m okay with checking that someone’s not running a fever first.

Yes, it makes sense when closer contact is required, as part of layers of screening, as I mentioned.

I guess mileage will vary on whether it is worth the risk in order to get a haircut or sit down at a restaurant table. I would not take those risks even with temp checks.

I broke down and got a very fast haircut a couple weeks ago. I was the first customer in the morning and the only person in the shop besides the stylist, the door was wide open, and of course we were both masked. It still didn’t feel all that safe. I’ve also had one meal out, on a huge outdoor waterfront patio. I can’t imagine dining inside.

Of all the crappy “new normal” stuff, I think I could live with temperature scans being kept. Maybe as a yearly tradition during cold&flu season. Yes, it’s not perfect for stopping spread but it can help sink in to people “if you’re sick, stay home”.

I have my temperature checked every day when I come to work and I have to answer questions regarding symptoms of COVID. Even though the person has to stand close to get the temperature with the no contact IR thermometer, the interaction is brief. It lasts less than 2 minutes so the potential for exposure is minimal and it is unlikely that enough virus would be expelled to be spread all over a location. Until we have better testing and controls, this may be the best we can do.

I’ve had my hair done a couple of times since lockdown started. Not a fast haircut, a color job–everything takes about an hour. But my stylist rents a space in one of those rabbit-warren places where everyone has their own room that no one else uses-- has its own sinks, etc. It has a door that closes. We are both masked the whole time. I have KN-95 masks that I hold over my nose and mouth when she needs to work around my ears. She had a pacemaker put in over Christmas and is super careful about her health. She does not take walk-ins. I really feel very safe there. Besides, when she washes my hair, it’s the only physical contact I have with another human being. Two shampoos in 6 1/2 months-- the only time another person has touched me. :cry:

Mr.Wrek has been in Georgia on a job. He’s driving home today. He had a COVID test. And they checked his temp every day. He’s probably ok. But, he’s going to the lake house for at least 14 days.

I believe it’s safer. He doesn’t mind fishing for 2weeks. At all.

We are at the start of a heatwave where I live. 100F+ for the next week every day. Do these no-touch thermometers account for people being hot just from walking from their car to the entryway?

No. If your forehead is super hot, the thermometer reads it as super hot.