COVID-19 screening questions for reopening businesses

With businesses reopening and closing again across the nation, business owners are trying to be proactive in implementing new health and safety procedures to keep both employees and customers healthy. One recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is that every business use COVID screening questions to monitor employee health.

As a small business owner, you can take a few simple steps that will go a long way toward minimizing the risk of COVID-19 spreading at your workplace. A positive COVID test can shut your business down. Failing to implement health screenings could be a significant threat to your company if an infected employee shows up to work and passes the virus on to other people.

Designing a system for COVID-19 screening

Use several checkpoints to monitor the health symptoms of everyone coming into your workplace. These ongoing COVID-19 screenings are necessary to avoid another business closure. Also, a health screening system is a good investment, because it costs much less than professional cleaning and disinfecting services after contamination.

Some states and counties require COVID-19 screening questions. Even if you aren’t in an industry or area that requires these screenings, it’s smart to implement your own system. Health screening is not just important in business settings; nonprofit groups and other organizations need to screen employees, volunteers, and participants.

Consider using COVID-19 screenings for the following groups.

  • Employees: Screen your employees before they start the workday. Many companies encourage employees to stay onsite for the duration of their shift. If an employee leaves the premises, consider screening that person again when they return to work.
  • Customers: If customers are in close proximity with employees, use COVID-19 screening questions when the person arrives for their appointment. For example, COVID-19 screening is recommended before medical appointments, spa services, legal consultations, and other similar situations. Retail providers, restaurants, and grocery stores don’t often use COVID-19 screening questions since customers can meet social distancing guidelines.

Not only should you screen employees and customers, but it’s also a good idea to screen other people onsite. You can use these screening questions for contract workers, vendors, service providers, and other workplace visitors.

Examples of COVID-19 screening questions

The intention of COVID-19 screening is to determine the likelihood that a person has the virus. You can use the following screening questions as suggestions for your workplace screening form.

  1. Do you have any of the following symptoms?
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Muscle pains
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Runny nose or congestion
    • Sore throat
    • Diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Headaches
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
  2. Do any members of your household have any of the above symptoms?
  3. Have you traveled recently?
  4. Have you been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks?
  5. Are you or a family member awaiting COVID-19 test results?

Use these questions to determine whether a person should be entering the workplace. If an employee is sick, encourage them to stay home until their symptoms are gone or they have a negative COVID-19 test. Create a flexible appointment policy for customers so people feel comfortable rescheduling their visit if they are exhibiting symptoms.

How to collect information from COVID-19 screenings

Systematizing COVID-19 screening is the most effective solution for collecting data from employees and customers. For example, you can ask employees to fill out a self-screening questionnaire before each shift. JotForm offers a variety of form templates that small businesses can use for digital COVID-19 screening questions:

You can use one of these templates or create a personalized COVID-19 screening form. The form needs to be part of a bigger health and safety policy. Many businesses require masks in their buildings, do temperature checks at the door, maintain social distancing, and ask employees and customers to wash their hands upon arrival. Learn more about workplace recommendations provided by the CDC.

Employee COVID-19 self-screening questionnaire
Questions in employee COVID-19 self screening questionnaire

Even though it might seem like a burden to implement these screenings and protocols, it’s an important step toward protecting your staff members and customers. Business owners have a responsibility to provide a safe, healthy environment. COVID-19 screening questions ensure that you’re monitoring the health of your team members.

This article is originally published on Sep 09, 2020, and updated on Sep 11, 2020.
AUTHOR
Ex-nomad finally managed to settle. Been to 51 countries and counting. Doesn't like to be stuck in an office. Cappuccino aficionado.

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