This doc is supposed to help Ministries of Health and their point-of-entry (POE) companions in figuring out whether or not and easy methods to conduct traveler screening at POE for coronavirus (COVID- 19).
The goal of screening is to scale back the worldwide unfold of communicable illness by detecting departing vacationers who’re sick or who’ve been uncovered to the illness and stopping them from leaving the nation they’re in (exit screening) or by detecting them upon arrival and directing them to acceptable care and comply with up, as wanted (entry screening). Public well being screening happens in two levels: (1) Primary screening, which incorporates observing vacationers for apparent indicators of sickness, measuring temperature, and accumulating data on journey and publicity historical past; and (2) secondary screening, which incorporates having a healthcare or public well being skilled (every time attainable) conduct an extra public well being evaluation of unwell or probably uncovered vacationers recognized via the first screening course of.
In addition to detecting unwell vacationers, public well being screening at POE gives a wonderful alternative for international locations to teach vacationers in regards to the indicators and signs of COVID-19, easy methods to defend themselves and their households from an infection, and what to do in the event that they turn out to be unwell.
Public well being screening at POE may be useful resource intensive, however it’s a versatile intervention that may be scaled up or down based on the wants of the nation and the standing of the outbreak. It is necessary that international locations constantly monitor the evolution of the pandemic globally, nationally, and regionally, and regulate screening processes based on present wants.
For instance, screening could also be most necessary and efficient early in an outbreak, when it presents a chance to sluggish the geographic unfold of a illness of public well being concern, permitting additional time for unaffected areas to organize their well being methods, residents, and social establishments (e.g., faculties, companies) for attainable illness importation. Countries could want to undertake totally different screening methods after a communicable illness has been launched and there’s sustained transmission in native communities. At that stage, entry screening could not be the perfect use of restricted human and different sources; traveler schooling and neighborhood mitigation methods (e.g., social distancing, closing faculties, canceling or suspending of mass gatherings) could also be extra helpful at slowing the illness’s unfold.
The sections beneath present steerage on the next:
- How and what to speak with vacationers about COVID-19
- Limitations of POE screening
- Checklist for international locations to know if they’ve the capability to implement public well being screening at POE
Opportunities for Health Officials to Communicate with the Traveling Public
Points of entry present necessary alternatives and venues for well being officers to speak with vacationers in regards to the danger of COVID-19 of their international locations and in different international locations, easy methods to defend themselves throughout journey, in addition to what to anticipate after journey, particularly if they’ve been in a rustic with lively neighborhood transmission of COVID-19.
The following are some really useful communication methods for international locations to think about growing along with, or other than, different public well being measures instituted at POE.
Key data to share with vacationers consists of:
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- How to self-monitor for sickness and what to do if signs develop
- Public well being measures in place at departure and vacation spot POE
- How to organize for upcoming worldwide journey, together with:
- Measures to remain wholesome and scale back the danger of an infection throughout journey
- Recommendations to frequently test data posted on official authorities web sites of the vacation spot nation to seek out out about:
- Presence of ongoing neighborhood transmission of COVID-19
- Screening and regulatory measures (i.e., isolation, quarantine) in place
- Availability of healthcare companies at their vacation spot
- Screening and regulatory measures they need to anticipate upon return to their nation of origin.
Methods of communication for journey associated messaging embrace:
- Distributing Travel Health Alert Notices (T-HAN) – a paper handout given to arriving or departing vacationers containing details about COVID-19
- Displaying well being messages the place most worldwide vacationers enter or depart the POE.
- Creating audio or video messages for airways to broadcast throughout flights with details about COVID-19 and public well being measures which have been employed on the vacation spot POE.
- Disseminating messages, e.g., via social media
For examples of traveler well being communications, go to: Communication Resources for Travelers.
Limitations of Public Health Screening at POE
Public well being screening at POE is topic to a number of limitations and must be supplemented with enhanced neighborhood surveillance and different public well being measures.1
The following limitations of public well being screening at POE must be saved in thoughts:
- Screening is simplest for detecting overtly unwell vacationers; vacationers who’re contaminated, however not exhibiting indicators of sickness (e.g., presymptomatic or asymptomatic) could also be missed throughout screening at POE, particularly if they don’t self-report a attainable publicity (see third limitation beneath).
- COVID-19 transmission from presymptomatic and asymptomatic contaminated individuals is understood to happen. This reduces the effectiveness of public well being screening at POE, significantly exit screening, as asymptomatic vacationers may infect co-passengers or others inside the POE itself.
- Obtaining dependable temperature readings is affected by a number of elements, together with:
- The ambient atmosphere wherein the temperature is measured. If the atmosphere is extraordinarily sizzling or chilly, physique temperature readings could also be affected, whatever the temperature-taking gadget that’s used.
- Proper calibration of the thermometers per producer requirements. Improper calibration can result in incorrect temperature readings.
- Proper utilization and studying of the thermometers. Non-contact infrared thermometers ceaselessly used for well being screening should be held at a sure distance from the temporal artery within the brow to take the temperature accurately. Holding the gadget too removed from or too near the temporal artery impacts the studying.
- Screening depends on vacationers behaving in a fashion which will battle with their instant private curiosity. To stop disruptions to their journey, people could not reveal details about their signs or publicity historical past or attempt to disguise signs by taking medicine.
Implementing COVID-19 Screening at a POE
These questions are supposed to information international locations via issues in regards to the capacities wanted to implement public well being screening at POE. CDC recommends that international locations don’t implement screening till they will reply “Yes” to all “Yes/No” questions and have mechanisms in place to answer suspected circumstances recognized at POE, together with for isolation or quarantine as much as 14 days.
Does the COUNTRY have:
- The authorized and regulatory authorities to detain, isolate, or quarantine vacationers passing via some extent of entry?
- Sufficient funding to help screening and follow-up actions together with:
Is there funding to pay for:
- Screeners’ salaries
- Screening provides and tools
- Food, water, different requirements for quarantined vacationers
- Follow up of vacationers who could have been uncovered to COVID-19
Countries ought to think about general funding wants and sources of funding each within the brief and lengthy phrases.
- A spot to accommodate vacationers away from the POE for extended quarantine the place their security in addition to their bodily and psychological well being may be assured?
- A technique to offer meals, water, medicines, and different requirements to quarantined people?
- A strategy to allow quarantined people to obtain and ship communications?
- Has the nation recognized a referral healthcare facility for every precedence POE the place the workers will ship unwell vacationers for prognosis and care?
Does the POE have:
- Protocols for main and secondary screening, together with a transparent definition for suspected circumstances, based mostly on sickness presentation and/or publicity historical past?
Primary screening shouldn’t be undertaken with out having outlined mechanisms in place to handle vacationers assembly the first screening definition of a suspected case, together with those that are usually not unwell however who’ve reported an publicity. That is, don’t start implementing main screening with out the power to comply with up when suspected circumstances are recognized.
- An sufficient variety of skilled main and secondary screeners who show competency in finishing up assigned screening duties?
Primary screeners don’t must have prior well being or medical expertise; they are often anybody who demonstrates competency in taking a temperature, observing for indicators and symptom of sickness, reviewing a well being declaration type, and figuring out if an individual must be despatched to secondary screening.
Secondary screeners ought to ideally have medical coaching (nurse or doctor).
The variety of main screeners wanted could range by POE and the sources out there. Ideally, there must be two main screeners for each 60 vacationers per hour. Primary screeners ought to work in pairs, with one screener conducting visible statement and temperature checks, and the opposite asking questions or reviewing well being declaration varieties to acquire details about journey historical past, attainable exposures, and indicators and signs of sickness. Screening of every traveler ought to take lower than roughly 1 minute/individual, noting that almost all non-contact infrared thermometers require a relaxation interval of 15–60 seconds between temperature readings, relying on the model.
One onsite secondary screener per shift at every POE is often sufficient.
- Adequate private protecting tools (PPE)2 and screening instruments (non- contact thermometers, batteries, well being declaration varieties, and so on.)?
- A strategy to isolate suspected circumstances safely and away from different vacationers and POE personnel to await additional analysis or switch to a healthcare facility?
CDC recommends that vacationers with suspected COVID-19 not be held on the POE longer than mandatory. As quickly as attainable after figuring out a suspect case, the traveler must be transported to a pre-determined referral healthcare facility with identified capability to deal with COVID-19.
- An isolation space geared up with its personal entry to potable water, rest room, handwashing amenities, touch-free trash receptacles, and a spot to sit down or lie down?
Additional issues for international locations contemplating implementing screening at floor crossings or delivery ports
- Unlike airports, which have the established infrastructure, sources, and talent to funnel vacationers via managed pathways to implement screening compliance, floor crossings and delivery ports usually lack the infrastructure and sources to successfully perform screening in a scientific approach.
- Screening at floor crossings slows journey and may be straightforward to bypass by taking a detour across the screening level, resulting in vacationers crossing alongside unstaffed sections of the border. Travelers who don’t want to be delayed, or who’re sick and don’t wish to be prevented from touring, could attempt to bypass POE screening.
- Countries ought to consider their out there sources and take a risk-based method when figuring out which POE to pick out for public well being screening actions. Some elements to think about are:
- The quantity of vacationers via the POE
- Types of vacationers (demographic data, the place they’re coming from/going to/stopping at, function of journey)
- The POE’s connectivity to geographic areas with identified neighborhood
- transmission of COVID-19
- Whether circumstances have occurred close by and/or in closely populated areas
- Screening feasibility (Is there a strategy to direct vacationers via the screening course of? Can screening workers simply entry the designated location? Can unwell vacationers be remoted safely on the POE and transported to a referral healthcare facility?)
- Screening ought to solely be applied at POE the place the security and safety, of each vacationers and screening personnel may be assured (e.g., screening shouldn’t be situated in areas susceptible to violence or outdoors areas missing shade or safety from the weather).