Temperature screening not always reliable to mitigate coronavirus risk, experts say

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As Canada shifts towards returning to a new normal, temperature screening — an approach that uses a touchless scanner to measure a person’s body temperature — has been the subject of contention as a way to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

It’s easy to see its appeal. Temperature checks can be done anywhere, and results are instant.

Two countries that have successfully flattened the rate of infection, New Zealand and Taiwan, are champions of using temperature screening to detect potential cases of COVID-19, of which fever is a symptom.

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And the practice is picking up speed.

In Canada, T&T Supermarket has begun offering temperature checks for customers entering its stores, which they say is to protect shoppers and employees. Tim Hortons has also announced it will begin checking the temperatures of its employees before shifts begin.

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In British Columbia, the Restaurant and Foodservices Association proposed temperature screenings for guests and staff as part of a list of measures that would allow restaurants to safely reopen after the first wave of COVID-19 passes.

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