What it takes to be a COVID-19 screener

Screening of passengers, travellers for Covid-19 coronavirus symptoms. People may be infected by deadly coronavirus examined, close up shot

In recent days, we’ve published several blogs urging businesses of all types to consider hiring COVID-19 screeners when provinces across Canada inevitably begin to reopen. We’ve received lots of feedback from clients who are interested in this, as well as employees who want to know what being a screener would entail. In this blog, we’ll outline everything that you need to know about working as a COVID-19 screener.

Healthcare background is an asset – NOT a necessity 

At this point in time, it appears that many provinces will begin to reopen businesses in phases – for example, Ontario allowed businesses such as hardware stores and garden centers to recently reopen, and as the curve continues to flatten, more businesses will soon follow suit. In the early days of businesses reopening, RPI strongly suggests that any COVID-19 screeners that you hire should, ideally, have a background in healthcare – registered practical nurses (RPNs) are a great choice, and our Account Managers have an entire roster of RPNs ready to work at a moment’s notice.

However, when/if a COVID-19 vaccine is made available and overall cases begin to dwindle, screeners won’t necessarily need to have a healthcare background. With that being said, they’ll still need to be aware of symptoms and have a general understanding of what they’re looking for.

Stick to the script

There is a suggested process that all COVID-19 screeners will need to follow, and it breaks down like this:

  • The screener is stationed at an entrance to the business. They will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and use a no-contact infrared thermometer.
  • Whenever a customer or employee is entering the business, they will have their temperature taken, and asked a series of questions. These questions can include: Have you recently tested positive for COVID-19, or displayed any other symptoms associated with a cold or the flu; Have you recently had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or is exhibiting other symptoms; and Have you traveled internationally at any point in the last 30 days?
  • If the screener is satisfied that the person entering the business does not exhibit any potential symptoms of COVID-19, that person will be permitted to enter.
  • In any case where the screener feels that a person entering the business could pose a risk, it is up to the discretion of the business owner as to whether or not they want to let the person into the business

Hours and conditions

On average, COVID-19 screeners will work 8 hours shifts, starting from up to an hour before a business opens (so that employees can be screened), and ending once the business has closed. Screeners may need to spend time outside (depending on the layout of the business), and are encouraged to wear clothes that will allow them to be comfortable for the duration of their shift (in addition to the mandatory PPE). Screeners will also be expected to be on their feet during their shifts, and will be expected to manage any lines that form during the screening process. Efficiency will also be important – for example, if a business has multiple entrances (such as a shopping mall), there may only be one or two entrances that are open to customers. As long lines of people could potentially arise from this, screeners must be able to keep everything moving a relatively quick – but also safe – manner.

In closing

There’s no way of sugar-coating it – a COVID-19 screener job isn’t an easy one. However, it will be necessary as we begin to pull ourselves out of this pandemic, and any screener should rest assured knowing that they’re performing a very important duty. We also expect our clients to compensate screeners very well.

If you’re looking to hire COVID-19 screeners for your business, or you’re interested in working as a screener, get in touch with our Account Managers today!

Phone: 416-850-9809; Toll-Free: 1-866-505-3383

Email: info@rpigroup.ca


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