FAQ: Wellness screening
Why was a decision made to implement the wellness check questionnaire via a poster before approaching the wellness check station?
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, wellness checkpoints were one of the many measures implemented to keep our teams and donors safe and protect our essential operations.
As we, as an organization, continue to adapt to evolving information on the virus, these measures are being consistently reviewed to ensure we can continue to safely deliver on our promise to patients and improve the donor and employee experience.
Beginning September 21, 2020, the following change will be rolled-out regarding the facilitation of the wellness checks at both donor and employee wellness checkpoints:
- Employees working at the wellness checkpoints will no longer be required to read the wellness-check questionnaire to each individual entering our sites.
- Instead, before entering our sites, individuals will be asked to read the questionnaire on a large poster prior to approaching the wellness checkpoint.
- If the individual answers “YES” to any of the questions, they will be advised that they are unable to enter our sites and will be encouraged to return when they can answer “NO” to all of the questions.
- If the individual answers “NO” to all of the questions and receives an acceptable temperature reading, they will be permitted to enter our sites for further screening.
As information on the virus continues to evolve, we are constantly looking at ways to safely improve efficiencies as well as the donor and employee experience. We anticipate that this change will contribute to the following:
- Maintain safety by reducing donor/employee contact with individuals who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms or who have travelled outside the province in the last 14 days.
- Improve donor experience by allowing donors to self-postpone their donation in advance of entering our sites.
- Improve employee experience by simplifying the process and reducing the repetitive nature of the questions at the wellness checkpoint.
- Provide a consistent approach for both employees and donors.
Teams who work at the wellness checkpoints will receive training in advance. This change will be implemented no later than September 25.
Will a donor be deferred for a specific period of time if they answer “YES” to any of the wellness check questions?
No. The wellness check supports our efforts to make sure those who enter Canadian Blood Services’ sites are healthy, but they should not be mistaken for donor eligibility requirements.
The wellness check is intended to help limit the risk of spread of COVID-19 in our facilities by making sure that individuals are not displaying COVID-19 symptoms before they enter.
Health symptoms listed in the wellness check such as nausea or fever can change day-to-day. For this reason, donors and employees may return as early as the next day to retake the questionnaire if they are feeling healthy.
Donors and employees are reminded that if they are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, they should remain home and consider not coming to a Canadian Blood Services site until they are feeling healthy. This is to protect the safety of our teams, donors, and our essential operations.
How are we supporting those who are visually impaired able to reach the wellness check questionnaire poster?
To provide support, our teams will always work hard to accommodate donors who are visually impaired by taking the time to read through the questionnaire.
Are regional travel considerations being made to the wellness checks?
Yes. We recognize that each province has its own set of COVID-19 travel requirements and we are working closely with public health to ensure those requirements are reflected in regional posters being provided to sites.
As these requirements evolve, the wellness checkpoint questionnaire in each region are subject to change.
Who should I contact if I have questions/concerns?
FAQ: Employee temperature checks
How do I administer an employee temperature check?
When a security guard is present, they will take the temperatures of staff, volunteers and contractors using the infrared thermometer.
When no security guard is present, employees, volunteers and contractors will take their own temperature with the infrared thermometer.
Please read take a moment to read our step-by-step guide on how to take your own temperature for detailed information on the process.
Additional supplies required for employee temperature checks, such as gloves, cleaning supplies and printed instructions, will be provided to you by facilities at the wellness checkpoint.
If I have a temperature 38.0°C or above, am I sick with COVID-19?
There are many reasons your temperature may be slightly elevated other than sickness, however you will be asked to go home and return the next day if your temperature registers 38.0°C or above. It is important to avoid warm drinks or anything that may raise your temperature in the five or ten minutes prior to taking your temperature. You may even want to wait a few minutes before the check to cool down if you have walked, jogged or cycled to come into work or if you have waited outside under the sun.
What do I do if my temperature is high?
If you do not meet the requirements of the wellness checkpoint, including temperature, your name will be entered in the Denied Entry Log by the employee staffing the checkpoint. If there is no one staffing the wellness checkpoint, you will need to complete the log yourself. Anyone who is denied entry due to a high temperature may come back the following day, if they feel well.
Will I be paid if I am sent home?
Employees will be continued to be paid at their regular rate if they are unable to come into work because their temperature is 38.0°C or above (exclusive of premiums, non-statutory payments in lieu and overtime). If you have questions about your personal situation, please speak with your PCP business partner.
May I retake my temperature?
Unless there was a technical problem with the initial measure or if the person is still hot from exertion or due to the warm environmental conditions, temperature should be taken only once. The infrared thermometer is very reliable and accurate, if an employee temperature is high they cannot enter our facility but may come back the following day if they are feeling well.
What if I refuse to have my temperature taken?
Everyone will be required to have their temperature taken to enter any of our facilities. Employees who feel strongly against taking their temperature should speak to their supervisor or PCP business partner to receive guidance.
What do I do when I have had my wellness check and I’m entering a second site?
We ask that everyone who has passed at a previous site to stop and check in with the wellness screener, if one is present. Please take a moment and tell them you were cleared at the last site for today.
If I return from break - do I need to retake my temperature?
No, we will only do a temperature check once per day per staff member. The check will be done when a person first enters the facility. There is no need to be rechecked if an employee steps out for a break or lunch. Simply acknowledge the screener at the wellness checkpoint, if one is present, as you reenter the site.
How do others know you had your temperature checked?
We trust our teams to do the right thing, it’s a matter of integrity which is at the core of our ICARE values. Everyone entering our facilities will need to go through the wellness checkpoint and meet all the requirements. Temperature taking is another layer added to our enhanced measures to limit the spread of infection.
Are staff permitted to bring their own thermometer to confirm their temperature at entry?
No. To standardize our process employees must use the touchless infrared thermometer supplied by Canadian Blood Services to enter the site. Other thermometer types could have a different threshold depending on the type, accuracy and sensitivity and where on the body the temperature is taken.
Why are we providing infrared thermometers to employees and not donors?
The Carescape thermometer has been considered the most accurate way to take temperature but as technologies have evolved, infrared thermometers are now also very accurate. Making the switch to infrared thermometer for donors will require extensive validation and some regulatory approvals from Health Canada. This will take time, but it is a change that is being considered for the future.
Why does a donor’s temperature get written down on a slip of paper and not for employees?
Since the temperature check for donors has been moved to the wellness checkpoint, the temperature must be written down, so it can be entered into the donor’s file at screening.
What is the process for staff boarding life buses?
Employee temperature checks must be administered prior to staff boarding our buses. Infrared devices will be available at muster points. However, staff arriving at mobiles on their own will have their temperature taken by a colleague using the Carescape oral thermometer until infrared thermometers are available in a couple weeks.
We recognize that this is not ideal and creates a dual process, but we are hopeful that clinic staff (and volunteers) will be understanding of that measure given it is temporary and their familiarity with the device and process.
Why is the threshold for employees 38.0°C and for donors it is 37.5°C?
Our medical team has validated that COVID-19 related fever as anything at 38.0°C or higher.
The threshold for donors is more stringent for a couple reasons. First, an oral thermometer may register a cooler reading and second more stringent guidelines ensure we limit the risk of infection in the blood we provide to patients.
What you can do
All staff can review the screening questions in advance to be prepared. If you do not think you will pass the Wellness Checkpoint questions, stay home and notify your manager/supervisor and Employee Health Services (EHS). If you develop symptoms at any time, please self-isolate immediately and contact your manager/supervisor and EHS.
To ensure that you can report to work on time, please arrive earlier to allow time to complete the Wellness Checkpoint screening process. There is a possibility that you will encounter lineups — maintain social distancing measures as you wait to be screened, a minimum of 2m.
We all have a duty to protect ourselves, each other and our community.
What you can expect
When you arrive, a screener will greet you and ask you the following questions:
- Have you travelled outside of Canada in the last 2 weeks?
- Are you personally under assessment for COVID-19 or awaiting COVID-19 test results?
- Have you been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19?
- Do you have an onset of fever
- Are you experiencing Shortness of breath?
- Do you have a Cough or Sore throat?
- Are you experiencing Vomiting and or Diarrhea?
If you answer no, you will be cleared to proceed to work.
If you answer yes to any of these questions the screener will offer you a mask to put on ask you leave. Please contact your supervisor immediately and seek medical attention or speak with your local public health authority as needed. We ask that you do not attend a Wellness Checkpoint at our sites until you are 24 hours symptom free or cleared by Employee Health Services (EHS). EHS is a resource for manager/supervisors and employees.
What should managers/supervisors do if an employee is denied entry at the Wellness Checkpoint?
If one or more of your employees is denied entry at the Wellness Checkpoint, please contact Employee Health Services for guidance