Daily COVID-19 digest
Introducing employee temperature checks:
During the week of Monday, June 1 mandatory temperature checks for employees, volunteers and contractors will be implemented across all Canadian Blood Services facilities.
This measure is the next layer in the many ways we are protecting employees, volunteers and donors. Following the guidance and feedback we received during the pilot in Brampton last month, employee temperature checks will be administered with touchless infrared thermometers. We expect the roll-out of this measure to be complete in permanent Canadian Blood Services facilities by Monday, June 8. Implementation of infrared thermometers in our mobile sites will begin when more devices are received. In the interim, employees will receive oral temperature checks using our Carascape device.
If you have questions about how we are proceeding with employee temperature checks, we encourage you to speak with you manager, check-out our FAQ on the COVID-19 employee portal and review our step-by-step guide on how to use the new infrared thermometers.
New questions added to wellness screening:
Effective Monday, June 1, 2020, two new questions have been added to our wellness screening for donors, employees, volunteers and contractors.
The availability of COVID-19 testing for the public is increasing. Individuals who work in health care settings are being mandated by their employers to be regularly tested and governments are making testing more readily available. As a result, we know that many more heathy people will be walking through our doors awaiting test results. To limit the risk of excluding healthy donors, staff, volunteers and contractors from entering our facilities, everyone will be asked if they are awaiting test results and only be denied entry if they declare it is due to experiencing symptoms or being part of a tracing investigation due to contact with a person with COVID-19.
As our knowledge of the virus evolves, we are reviewing new symptoms to determine whether they should be added to our screening protocol. A new symptom of COVID-19 — a new loss of taste or smell — has been evaluated by our medical affairs and innovation team and a decision as been made to include it to the list of symptoms that we screen for.
We encourage you to speak with you manager if you have any questions about these additions to our wellness screening.
Stories from our frontline: Kerry Parsons is leading a team through the pandemic at the donor centre in Edmonton. After only a couple months in her role as a manager, the pandemic hit. When we asked her how she is managing this new leadership role in such unprecedented times, she told us she couldn’t do it without her staff behind her. Kerry says “finding ways to support the team is a constant focus for me. Early in the pandemic I was driving home with the radio on, and the DJ was looking for shout-outs for frontline workers. Normally I would never contact a radio station, but on that evening, I thought, I’m going to do this! They ended up calling me back to arrange free pizza for the staff. It was a nice pick-me-up for the staff and a thank you for their hard work”. Read more about Kerry’s story on blood.ca/stories.
Question of the day: I worry that donors will be turned away because their temperature is too high due to them waiting for their appointment in the direct heat. Have we considered setting up temporary cooling shelters outside of our mobiles across the country?
This is a really interesting observation as we head into the summer months.
Like many of the interventions we have implemented to mitigate COVID-19 transmission, we will continue to monitor shifts in trends as part of our planning discussions. We do not have enough information at this time to know if we are turning away more donors due to high temperature than before.
There are also many considerations we would need to look at, such as whether cooling tents would mask a true fever and whether logistically it would be possible. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will review interventions if necessary.
About the daily digest
This daily digest will highlight the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters. Things are moving quickly, so you can expect to hear from us daily. No access to email? No problem — all this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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