Worcester City Councilor Recommends Temperature Checks

WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Worcester city manager has been asked to look into requiring business owners to check the temperatures of their employees with non-contact infrared thermometers to determine if they have been exposed to COVID-19.

The proposal was introduced by Councilor-at-Large Morris A. Bergman during Tuesday night's City Council meeting. Bergman also filed a separate proposal to provide face masks and gloves, free of charge, to the homeless and panhandlers during the current public health emergency.

Bergman said panhandlers exchange money and at times he has seen them stick their heads into cars asking for a handout, without wearing a face mask.

Bergman asked City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. to consider adding his provisions to the emergency order Augustus issued on April 17. That order required customers at essential retail businesses to wear a face covering.

Any employee with a temperature of 99 degrees or higher would be required to leave and not return to work until their temperature returns to normal. Bergman acknowledges that checking the temperature of workers goes beyond what Gov. Charlie Baker has proposed.

"Just because the governor is not asking for it doesn't mean that Worcester can't add a little bit more protection," Bergman tells the Telegram & Gazette.

Mayor Joseph M. Petty asked the city manager to provide a report on the pros and cons of Bergman's proposal.

“If the logistics are difficult, I don’t want to put unreasonable burdens on our businesses,” he said.

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