Nash UNC Health Care Adds Temperature Checks to Health Screenings

ROCKY MOUNT — Nash UNC Health Care has added temperature checks to its health screening process to help reduce the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19 at Nash UNC.

All employees, providers, patients, visitors and vendors will now complete a temperature check using touchless temperature scanning upon entering any Nash UNC facility in addition to the organization’s established screening process.

New thermal scanning technology was recently installed in the main lobby of Nash General Hospital and other high-traffic entrances. These devices allow for touchless, automatic and high-accuracy temperature checking when someone enters the facility. All other entrances are utilizing handheld, touchless devices for temperature checks.

Staff, providers, patients, visitors and vendors who register a temperature of 100.3 or lower will be allowed to enter Nash UNC’s facilities, if they pass the health screening questions as well.

For those with a temperature of 100.4 or higher, different courses of action will take place depending on if they are staff and providers, visitors, vendors or patients.

Staff members and providers will be directed to immediately contact Occupational Health and their manager to discuss their situation prior to being allowed to report to work.

Visitors and vendors who register a temperature of 100.4 or greater will not be allowed to enter the facility and will be encouraged to contact their health care provider if they feel sick.

If patients are being admitted and they register a temperature of 100.4 or greater, they will be escorted to a designated isolation room to be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate department or service line leader to determine the best course of action.

“This process was developed with the safety of our staff, providers, patients, visitors and vendors in mind as an extra level of monitoring as we continue to improve our operational response to COVID-19,” said Dr. L. Lee Isley, president and CEO of Nash UNC Health Care. “100.4 was chosen as the fever threshold based on CDC guidelines, since a normal temperature can range from 97-100. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher has an increased risk of exposing others to COVID-19 or other illnesses. As flu season ramps up, these measures will also help to reduce the spread of influenza in our facilities.”

Isley continued to explain that the new temperature check doesn’t replace the need for self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms, since fever is only one symptom of COVID-19.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have encouraged our staff to self-monitor for symptoms in addition to following our safety policies,” said Isley. “As we have seen throughout the past several months, the symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from person to person, with the possibility of also being asymptomatic. With that being the case, it is important for everyone to take the proper precautions, wear a mask and self-monitor. It is also important for everyone to get a flu vaccine this year, to minimize the effects of having two respiratory illnesses circulating in our community. All of our employees must have their flu vaccine completed by Nov. 1.”

In addition to temperature checks, Nash UNC Health Care has maintained visitor restrictions since the beginning of March, limited entrances to the hospital, required health screenings for all who enter the facilities and implemented a campus-wide mask policy, among other precautions.