Workplace screening

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recommends screening protocols for all workplaces and suggests screening employees and visitors on a daily basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also suggest screening, even though it may not catch all instances of COVID-19. In Washington State, the Seattle Seahawks may be the best-known employer that has implemented workplace screening.

Are you screening for COVID-19? Take our survey

Self-screening for COVID-19

The CDC suggests considering using self-screening, in which employees and visitors report if they have any potential symptoms of COVID-19. DOH has developed these four questions for employers in Washington state:

Washington state DOH COVID-19 workplace screening questions

  1. Do you have any of these symptoms that are not caused by another condition?
  2. Within the past 14 days, have you had contact with anyone that you know had COVID-19 or COVID-like symptoms? Contact is being 6 feet (2 meters) or closer for more than 15 minutes with a person or having direct contact with fluids from a person with COVID-19 (for example, being coughed or sneezed on).
  3. Have you had a positive COVID-19 test for active virus in the past 10 days?
  4. Within the past 14 days, has a public health or medical professional told you to self-monitor, self-isolate, or self-quarantine because of concerns about COVID-19 infection?

Review the Washington DOH Symptom Screening Guidance for more information

Screening in action

Approach client Johansen Construction Company began its screening program very early on in the pandemic. As you can see in this post from March, all employees and visitors scan a QR code on arrival at their office or job sites


Active screening

Some employers are using active screening, in which employees and visitors are checked for certain medical conditions upon arrival at the work site. This is more challenging because the person doing the screening must be protected during encounters with staff and visitors. DOH advises “employers may use social distancing, barriers or walls, or personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the screener.” The CDC reminds employers to “make sure the screener’s face stays behind the barrier at all times during the screening.”

Non-contact thermometers are preferable, because they do not need to be cleaned between each screening.

Take our survey to let us know if your company uses workplace screening. And visit https://www.pitb.com/employer-resources-for-covid-19-coronavirus/ for all of our COVID-19 posts, including more on workplace screening and what to do if there’s a suspected case of COVID-19.