Newsflash: Your Temperature Scanner Might Not Work in Cold Weather

Newsflash: Your Temperature Scanner Might Not Work in Cold Weather

COVID-19 has transformed temperature readings from something we only do when we’re sick or visiting the doctor to an everyday, life-saving essential. Companies everywhere are scanning employees’ and visitors’ temperatures and blocking entry for anyone with a fever. But did you know that depending on the type of scanner or thermometer you’re using, all that work could be moot simply because it’s cold outside?

To explain why cold weather presents a problem (and how you can avoid that problem), let’s take a closer look at how the typical thermometer and temperature scanner work.

How Temperature Scanners Work

Contactless thermometers and temperature scanners work by using a sensor to detect the temperature of the person’s forehead. With an advanced temperature scanner like RapidScreen, the internal algorithm uses that surface temperature reading to determine the person’s core body temperature.

How Cold Weather Can Impact Temperature Readers

Have you ever touched someone’s skin after they’ve come in from the cold weather? It’s usually cool to the touch. The same thing happens when someone comes in from the cold to enter your business: their skin is still cold from the winter weather, so the thermometer thinks the person’s body temperature is lower than it truly is.

If a person has a normal, healthy temperature, their temperature may look very low, even as low as 92 degrees. For reference, a normal body temperature is anywhere between 97 and 99 degrees, and hypothermia is defined as a temperature below 95 degrees. If, however, a person has a 100-degree fever, the cold weather could make their thermometer record a healthy temperature, so they’re able to enter the building because the cold masked their fever.

How to Get Accurate Temperature Screenings in the Winter

The most important way to keep your temperature screenings accurate in the winter is to use a “smarter” thermometer which can make sure your readings are more accurate. The RapidScreen allows you to set a low-temperature threshold, and if someone’s temperature is below that threshold, it tells the scanner that the temperature is inaccurate. If this happens, simply require the person to wait in the room-temperature lobby for a few minutes until their skin warms up and they can get an accurate reading.

Hot weather can have a similar effect in the opposite direction. People are out in the heat so their skin gets warm and gives off an artificially high temperature. As a whole, this sacrifices the accuracy of your temperature screenings so you can’t be confident that you’re allowing healthy people in and keeping unhealthy people out.

The reality is that there is too much at stake to risk allowing someone with COVID-19 to enter your office. Take this case for example: a Georgia man wanted time off work, so he lied and told his employer he’d tested positive for COVID-19. Between disinfecting the entire office, closing the business for days for that disinfecting process, and requiring several of the man’s co-workers to quarantine, that one claim of COVID-19 cost the employer $100,000

Now imagine how much worse the situation would have been if the man actually had been infected with COVID-19 and had passed it to several of his colleagues. Multiply those costs even more because far more employees would have needed time off to quarantine, and the office may have needed multiple disinfecting sessions if the secondary cases weren’t caught right away. Those secondarily infected colleagues could infect even more colleagues in the meantime, and the expensive and risky domino effect continues.

The same would happen to a business that accidentally allows someone who’s sick to enter their office because their handheld thermometer cannot compensate for the weather.

To keep your business safe, invest in a smart temperature scanner instead. Learn more about the spinTouch RapidScreen can protect your business, employees, and financial stability.

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