Body temperature measurement to identify people with Covid-19 has been used by many large companies. Could this be a panacea for events, or is it just a placebo effect?

Temperature screening was the first security measure at airports and other entry points to determine if a person has been infected with the coronavirus. Large companies, schools and colleges are already adopting this technology. So there is a lot of discussion right now about how this could help bring back live events.

Temperature screening now

Thermal scanning is usually done using an infrared thermometer. Fever is one of the most common symptoms of Covid-19 infection, so it seems logical to check people’s temperature to see if they might be infected.

Companies like Amazon take daily body temperature measurements of their employees in warehouses. Meanwhile, the temperature of everyone admitted to MLK Jr. in Los Angeles, checking the thermal camera. They used to use infrared thermometers, but the camera is much faster because it gives instant results. Such thermometers also do not provide a safe distance between the operator and the test object and require more labor than thermal imaging devices.

Temperature screening for events

There are ongoing discussions about the use of thermometers at major events. For example, in most stadiums, people are already scanned through metal detectors and sometimes their bags are checked. Adding a temperature screen to the process would be a minor increase in inconvenience.

However, there are a number of factors that complicate the reliability of a temperature measurement. On the one hand, absolutely anything can raise your body temperature, from exercise to stress, obviously, to other illnesses. What’s more, the accuracy of temperature screening has been scrutinized as it turns out that people can be completely asymptomatic and still spread the virus to others.