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Albertsons is taking extra steps to ensure employees, vendors are well enough to work

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Albertsons Cos. has begun taking daily temperature checks and health screenings of employees and vendors at it supermarkets, warehouses and other locations.
The Boise, Idaho, grocery company is rolling out touchless temperature scanners and a digital COVID-19 health questionnaire at its more than 2,200 stores nationwide.
Employees and vendors answer several questions about their health on their cell phones. A video monitor scans their temperature and ensures they’re wearing masks. A machine prints an adhesive sticker with an employee’s photo and the word “cleared” to show the employee has met the protocols and is cleared for work.
The stickers are worn during an employee’s shift. Employees who work in food production areas do not wear the stickers. The stickers are kept within their departments.
A worker whose temperature is too high will be issued a “failed” badge and will not be allowed to work. A person whose temperature is within the proper range but who isn’t wearing a mask is directed to put one on before a cleared badge is issued.
“The health and safety of associates working in our facilities is a top priority, and the enhanced health screening process provides us with peace of mind while promoting a healthy workplace,” Susan Morris, chief operations officer for Albertsons, said in a news release. “After testing multiple options, we are grateful for the support and partnership of Turing Video to deliver an effective, scalable solution.”
The use of the health screening system, provided by Turing Video Inc., a Silicon Valley tech startup, has allowed Albertsons to keep its 34 stores in New Mexico open. Some stores had previously been ordered to close for two weeks after workers contracted the coronavirus. A closure was mandated if a store had four employees test positive within a two-week period, under New Mexico’s public health order.
New Mexico came up with an exception to the closure requirement if stores signed an agreement and met requirements, including testing all employees, even if four or more employees test positive.
“A quick, easy, contactless, and effective health screen is a key to containing the spread of COVID-19, and Albertsons Cos. quickly recognized the value in implementing this system,” Jery Zhong, co-founder and president of Turing Video, said in the release.
Albertsons, the second-largest U.S. grocery chain, behind Kroger, has more than 300,000 workers nationwide, including about 4,700 in Idaho. The company operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.
The post Albertsons is taking extra steps to ensure employees, vendors are well enough to work appeared first on East Idaho News.

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