T&T Supermarket begins scanning customer temperatures
The grocery stores specializing in Asian products has begun administering temperature checks upon entry
T&T Supermarket, which specializes in Asian groceries, has begun administering temperature checks to customers upon entry, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The new measure isn't being carried out at other retail chains owned by the same company, Loblaw Companies Ltd., which include Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, and Super Valu.
On its website, T&T said temperature checks began at the Surrey Central City store on April 9, but as of Monday, it had spread to all locations.
"To protect the health and safety of our customers and employees, T&T stores are starting to provide temperature check service," an online statement reads.
Not 'particularly helpful'
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer said on Monday that temperature screening may not be the best way to ensure people with COVID-19 don't enter a store.
"I don't actually feel that temperature screening is particularly helpful," said Henry.
"We know with this virus, people can have very mild symptoms — about two-thirds of people to three-quarters have a fever at some point, but not having a fever doesn't mean you're necessarily safe," she said, adding that people should be very sensitive to any symptoms and stay home if there's a possibility they have the virus.
Henry said that measures in stores, like installing plexiglass shields between staff and customers is an effective way to keep staff safe.
A Loblaw spokesperson said in an email that T&T is independently operated and that Loblaw doesn't have similar plans at this time.
The spokeperson sent CBC News a statement from T&T CEO Tina Lee, which calls the temperature checks voluntary.
"The service uses an infrared thermometer which can be used at a safe distance with no physical contact. If customers have a fever, they will be kindly asked to rest at home and contact their health care provider," said Lee.