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Environmental Factors & Covid-19 Fever Screening

High Temperature Reading? It may not be Covid-19 

Since the beginning of 2020, many people have purchased thermal imaging cameras from our Fever Screening range of products. These products are used to monitor people for elevated temperature readings. If a person is not asymptomatic a key symptom of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is a high temperature (fever). Often if a elevated body temperature is detected the person can undergo further testing to see if they have Covid-19. However, a high temperature reading from a thermal imaging camera does not always mean a person/s may be ill from a cold/flu or Covid-19. A incorrect  high temperature reading may occur if environmental factors are not taken into consideration when the fever screening camera is being installed. Environmental factors can sometimes affect temperature readings, this is particularly important to take note of as we are entering into the Autumn/Winter Seasons. 

Environmental Factors to Consider when installing your Fever Screening Camera 

There are a number of different environmental factors to consider when setting up and installing your fever screening camera. Below are a few that need to be considered.

Image of a Sun to explain solar loading affects on thermal cameras

Solar Loading

Solar Loading occurs when there is strong sunlight, when there is strong sunlight it can heat up objects and people. For Example, if you were to leave a spoon outside on a sunny day after a period of time the spoon will become warm. Solar loading can cause temperature readings to appear higher than they actually  are in most cases. This can happen if a person was outside in the sunshine for a period of time perhaps the person has a 20 minute walk to work, during this time the persons body temperature would increase due to the sunshine and also the physical activity of walking. Strong sunlight can warm the top of the persons head and this could elevate the skin or hair to above the alert setting 38C /100F, as the thermal screening is looking at the face for the maximum temperature the temperature reading can give a false reading In this type of situation it would be best to have the person wait 5-10 minutes in a cool waiting area before they are have their temperature reading taken.

Image of a wind to explain wind chill affects on thermal cameras

Wind Chill

Wind Chill is the opposite of Solar loading, it replaces sunshine with strong winds, it can make a person or an object much colder than their true temperature. If a person has been working outside in windy conditions, we would recommend the person to stand in a sheltered waiting area for 5-10 minutes before they are temperature screened. 

Image of a thermometer to explain external temperature affects on thermal cameras

Environmental Temperatures

It is important to take regular note of environmental temperatures in your local region, particularly when seasons are changing Summer to Autumn as this can affect a person’s temperature reading. We would recommend that a person goes to a sheltered waiting area for 5-10 minutes before they are temperature screened. 

Image of a building to explain setup affects on thermal cameras

Setup Conditions 

It is important to look at the area that is being used for the fever screening. We would recommend that the fever screening cameras should be setup in an indoor temperature controlled area as a sheltered area is best to get the most accurate temperature readings. If this is not possible, we would recommend you set up a structure such as a tent, marquee or a portacabin. It is also important to make sure you have the camera set up at a correct height and focus to take temperature readings of visitors and staff as people’s height measurements can vary and the camera needs a view of the persons face to take accurate temperature measurement. 

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