Ingham County emergency order requires health screening for employees

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INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS)– The Ingham County Health Department has issued an emergency order for all businesses in Ingham County to screen their employees before working.

The health screening includes taking workers temperature.

“In the places where we are having people go and do essential functions, letting symptomatic people in unknowingly, and then before you know it, those essential functions don’t have the workforce that they need,” said health officer for the Ingham County Health Department, Linda Vail.

The screening is to ensure people aren’t coming into work sick.

“We know people have a tendency to do that, right now especially with the pressure that’s on people who are in some essential critical functions, it’s kind of just you know will they go to work sick? hopefully not, but it’s just a measure that’s being put in place to try to control the possibility of that happening,” said Vail.

Some businesses, like Eastside Fish Fry& Grill, say they’ve already been taking workers temperatures.

“We’ve been doing that for about a week now, a week and a half now, so it makes sense that everybody should do that,” said general manager for Eastside Fish fry& Grill, Antonio Dean.

He says they even took other precautions.

“We even gave the employees the chance to go home if they don’t feel safe coming in, and some workers decided to take that break,” said Dean.

Overall, Dean says they are willing to follow any order or law, because they’re just happy to be open right now.

“The first week or two, a lot of people were trippin’ because we thought we were going to close, and it didn’t turn out like that, we got stay open you know, it’s a big help to everybody here,” said Dean.

Linda Vail says officials with the health department are concerned that some employers will have a hard time finding thermometers.

“Especially ones that you can screen lots of people with and we can’t have people coming into a workplace and having the under the mouth thermometers because that’s not going to work,” said Vail.

Employees can take their temperature at home and report it when they get to work.

Overall, Vail says this is just another way to help people stay safe that do have to work during the pandemic.

“I just think it’s another one of those important steps to control and keep people from getting exposed and lessen the burden of disease in our county and so that we can get ourselves through this,” said Vail.

Oakland County has a similar order in place and it does exempt health care workers. This one in Ingham County does not.

Employers also have the option to provide a health screening sheet to employees that asks them about possible coronavirus symptoms. That sheet can be found here, on the Ingham County Health Department’s website.

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