Rossen Reports: Temperature checks could give false security

Temperature checks could give some false security. Here's why.


Temperature checks could give some false security.

Yes, a key to returning normalcy involves widespread temperature checks at theme parks, gyms and so many public places across the country.

But now, there are new questions about whether those readings even mean anything.

Thermometers pointed at people's foreheads are everywhere — from office buildings to theme parks. The presumption is that people who pass through them are COVID-19-free.

Think again.

We set up a test with confirmed COVID-19 positive patients. Would they be allowed inside?

We used the Rossen Reports Facebook page to get participants.

And we met Alicia, Lisa, Chris and Tina — all of whom tested positive for COVID-19 within the past week.

Tina said on Zoom it’s been awful.

"It started with fever and chills and then went into the sore throat, congestion," she said.

But what if Tina showed up to her kids school today — or work?

Her temperature was 98.6 degrees.

That’s literally textbook for healthy.

"Yeah, I could go anywhere and nobody would question," she said.

Alicia tested positive just days ago. But she said she hasn't been running a fever one bit. Her temperature was 98.2 degrees.

Lisa and Chris are married and both have it. A thermometer showed her temperature as 97.3 degrees. His was below 97 degrees.

"Clearly to me that’s probably not a very dependable method," Lisa said. "I would have been the one person who got through and I clearly have been sick."

Lisa said how scary she thought the findings were.

"You go in and they scan you and say okay you’re good," she said. "Well I would have been good every day for the last seven days that I tested positive."

Dr. Rajeev Fernando is an infectious disease doctor currently treating COVID-19 patients in New York.

What does he make of our results — four COVID patients all fever-free?

"This doesn’t surprise me at all," Fernando said. "We do know up to 50% of people who have COVID-19, don’t have any symptoms at all. So having no fever in this situation doesn’t surprise me at all."

But should we not use temperature checks at all? Is there a better way to address things?

"I think it’s a reasonable way," Fernando said. "If someone comes into work, if you catch a fever, you can ask more questions. I think that’s reasonable. There really isn’t any other way. But it’s important to understand this false sense of security even if there is no fever it doesn’t rule out COVID-19."

Our volunteers involved in this segment all tell us they’re recovering. We’re sending our well wishes to them and everyone else.