Chesterfield County’s Risk Management Department has mandated that, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in public buildings, all county and school employees must take their own temperature and answer a list of covid-19 related questions prior to reporting for work each day.
The self-assessment form directs employees to not come to work, seek guidance from their medical provider and contact the Employee Medical Center if they answer “yes” to any of thequestions or have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher.
Originally, the second question on the online form asked
“Have you or anyone in your household had close contact with or cared for anyone diagnosed with, suspected to have or experienced symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within the past 14 days?”
County's Risk Management department rephrased the question last week and removed the reference to “anyone in your household.”
Tim Bullis, director of communications for Chesterfield County Public Schools, subsequently informed school employees of the change in an email as follows:
“A potential second-hand contact would not require quarantining or contact with the EMC,”
This email message was circulated on social media the following morning and led to a spate of concerned questions from teachers and others suggesting the change will make schools more susceptible to COVID-19 infections.
“This opens up a possibility that could create blind spots in contact tracing that is necessary to keep our schools and greater community safe.”
was one of the responses
In a telephone interview last Friday morning, Dr. Alexander Samuel, medical director for the Chesterfield Health District, said the original question phrasing was “a step above” federal and state guidelines and the County's rephrasing just brings the question back in line with recommended CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidelines.”