What’s considered a fever? New confusion as more businesses check employee temperatures

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — As part of Ohio’s Responsible Restart, businesses are encouraged to do daily temperature checks using CDC guidelines, which consider 100.4 a fever.

“That’s the medical definition of a fever. What we know is if it’s higher, they’re more likely to have a significant infection,” explained Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton.

But it’s not always that simple says University Hospitals pediatric infectious disease specialist, Dr. Amy Edwards, as different states set different standards.

In Texas, if you have 100 degree temperature, you will be sent home from work. Over in Delaware, it’s 99.5.

“So the farther you move it this way, the more true fevers you catch, but you’re also starting to catch a lot more normal body temperature the more this way you move. You might miss people but you’re not going to miss anybody’s normal body temperature,” said Dr. Edwards.

However, even “normal” body temperatures can vary from person to person. On average, falling between 97 and 99 degrees.

Her advice is to get to know your own temperature and keep track of it.

“If you’re one of those people who knows that when you get to 99.9 that’s a fever for you then, but a screener might not catch you if you go out, you could be exposing people to coronavirus and so maybe don’t take that trip today,” she said.

*Read more safety tips from the Ohio Department of Health, here.*


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