New York State (NYS) requires employers to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms before the employee can enter the workplace each day and maintain documentation of health screenings.

Screening requirements may change. You can check the Health Department's COVID-19 page for updates.

Check the Health Department's COVID-19 page.

The COVID-19 Symptom Screening Tool is a sample screening tool for most workplaces. Some workplaces, such as health care or long-term care facilities, may have different screening requirements. 

You can use this sample tool in the way that makes sense for your workplace.

Ideas for screening include:

  • Calling employees each workday before they leave home to ask screening questions.
  • Using an automated phone line that allows employees to indicate “Yes” or “No” and monitor the line to ensure compliance.
  • Creating an auto-generated email or survey that enables a response. 
  • Designating a screening area and distributing the screening questions on paper to employees when they arrive for work but before they enter the worksite. If written forms are used, they should not identify the employee by name.
  • Listing screening questions at the workplace entry on a bulletin board and asking employees to review before they enter the worksite.

Download a sample screening tool.

Call 311 for assistance.

 

 

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If the screening tool indicates an employee does not currently have symptoms they must still continue practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings, and hand washing. 

If the screening tool indicates an employee has one or more symptoms of COVID-19 they must not report to work.

  • Employees must maintain 6 feet of distance between one another while awaiting screening. 
  • Screeners and employees must wear face coverings if they can medically tolerate them.
  • Screen in a location that is not a confined space.
  • Design a way to screen that prevents others from hearing what is being said and to minimize others from observing screenings.
  • Incorporate social distancing or physical barriers, such as a plexiglass barrier, to minimize the screener’s and employee’s exposure during the screening.

All information collected from employees must be kept confidential and can only be maintained in the employee’s medical or health file, in the same manner as the employer maintains medical notes for leave purposes.

These records should be kept separate from the employee’s personnel file. 

Workplaces are not required to check employee temperatures.

If, however, you decide to conduct temperature checks:

  • Use a non-contact thermometer, such as an infrared forehead thermometer or infrared scanner.
  • Not use oral or tympanic thermometers (tympanic thermometers use a probe that goes in the ear). 
  • When non-contact thermometers are used and the screener does not have physical contact with an employee, gloves do not need to be changed before the next check.
  • Screening areas should have a supply of alcohol wipes to sanitize equipment that comes in contact with screened employees inadvertently. Clean after each employee is screened if there is contact.

At this time, antibody tests for COVID-19 cannot be used to detect whether someone is currently sick or infected. It is also not yet known whether a positive antibody test means that someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again. Antibody tests should not be used to decide whether someone should or should not work.