One extremely common measure that companies are implementing is temperature checks when people come in the building. This has the advantage of being inexpensive, fast, and requiring little training. On the other hand, though, this seems like a pretty crude measure. It seems like people who had a high enough fever to indicate COVID would likely already know that they were sick (and would already be exhibiting other symptoms); also, this test would fail to detect people that are asymptomatic carriers or recently exposed, and I imagine that you could evade the test by taking Tylenol. With that said, how often does this actually detect COVID cases? Have there been any studies (or even anecdotal evidence) that indicate how often this works?

  • 1
    This is probably more of a social engineering procedure (though you could also call it security theater depending on your perspective). The idea is to enforce that people monitor their health and not attempt to work while sick. Jun 12 '20 at 22:40
  • 1
    Anecdotally - millions of airport checks and no cases detected. Jun 13 '20 at 4:39
  • @GrahamChiu Has there ever been a documented case of this actually working? Jun 13 '20 at 5:21
  • In China police were case finding by holding police road blocks and checking people's temperatures. Apparently those that were febrile were swabbed. I don't know if this led to any case discovery. Jun 16 '20 at 21:44


About half of all COVID-19 infections are completely asymptomatic, and even among people who are sick enough to be hospitalized, only a third had a fever at the time of admission.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.