Commissioner Steve Grove
Health experts around the world will tell you that one of the most important aspects of workplace safety during a pandemic is careful and effective health screening of employees. That’s why in Executive Order 20-40, the Governor requires all non-critical businesses coming back into workplace environments to engage in proper health screenings each day.
Now, thanks to a unique collaboration between Target Corp, Minnesota IT Services, and the Minnesota Safety Council – Minnesota businesses have a digital tool that can make those screenings even more effective.
The MN Symptom Screener is a new web-based tool that allows businesses to enter non-personal health information to help make a determination about someone entering their facility. MN Symptom Screener uses a few simple questions and also provides the option to record a daily temperature check.
By aggregating and synthesizing this anonymous data, the MN Symptom Screener tool provides organizations with a daily snapshot of the health indicators of people about to enter the workplace. And, through this unique partnership, we are making the tool available at no cost to businesses and organizations statewide.
In addition, Target is making a number of no-touch infrared forehead thermometers available to Minnesota businesses at cost. While temperature checks are not required as part of health screenings, it is a highly recommend practice and we are especially grateful to the team at Target for stepping up to help other businesses in Minnesota protect the health and safety of their workers. Businesses that are interested in purchasing an infrared thermometer can get started here.
A few important things to know about MN Symptom Screener:
- Businesses and organizations need to register online to be able to use the tool. Designate a Gmail (Google Email) account for using the tool and get started at minnesotasafetycouncil.org.
- MN Symptom Screener is not meant to be used by individuals to assess their own health.
- The MN Symptom Screener focuses on protecting privacy. Each business or organization owns its own data, and they are not required to share it with the state of Minnesota or with anyone else.
- All individual data is anonymous – the tool is not set up for anyone to be able to track an individual employee, visitor, or customer’s health data.
- Use of the MN Symptom Screener and any corresponding temperature checks are voluntary, however, we know temperature and various symptoms are key pieces of health information we can use to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Commissioner Tarek Tomes and the team at Minnesota IT Services have worked tirelessly with our partners at Target and the Minnesota Safety Council to ensure this tool is a useful resource for businesses and organizations.
As we continue listening to businesses and making plans to safely return more Minnesotans to work, one thing that we’ve heard loud and clear is that these types of tools and resources are critical to protecting their workers.
We’re fortunate that here in Minnesota, our strong history of public-private partnerships continues to fuel innovation, slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect the health and safety of us all.
If you are a business or organization that is interested in using the MN Symptom Screener, please visit mnsymptomscreener.minnesotasafetycouncil.org.
To purchase an infrared thermometer, businesses can create an account and get started on Target’s page here.