Health officials say infrared thermometers aren't '100%' after Calif. restaurant chain uses them on diners

Health officials say infrared thermometers aren't '100%' after Calif. restaurant chain uses them on diners
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Health officials are warning that infrared thermometers are not always effective after a California restaurant announced on social media that customers dining at its three locations would have to submit to infrared temperature screenings to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

The director of California's Department of Health warned that “those infrared thermometers are not 100%" when contacted by the Los Angeles Times about a post made by Sichuan Impression, a Chinese-themed restaurant with three locations across the state.

That Instagram post, published six weeks ago, showed a customer being screened with an infrared thermometer at a Sichuan Impression restaurant and announced that all dine-in customers would undergo similar tests amid the outbreak of coronavirus around the world.


"We will use infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of each guest who comes to dine," the restaurant posted. "If any abnormal symptom, such as fever, is identified, we will immediately assist to contact the nearest medical service."

"If you refuse to cooperate with the temperature measurement, we have to regretfully deny the service to you for the time being," the restaurant added.

In a statement to the Times, California Heath Department Director Barbara Ferrer urged those exhibiting any symptoms of the disease to stay home. The novel form of coronavirus was first detected in China and since evolved into a pandemic, with more than 100 cases reported in California. 

“We appreciate that our businesses are being creative; we understand that there is a lot of concern, and we welcome the fact that folks are looking at ways to minimize exposures within their businesses," Ferrer said.

“The most important thing that we can do is stay home when we’re sick,” she added. “And I mean, no matter how mild your illness is, you need to stay home until you’re fully well.”