The new measure is not being implemented in 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 that temperature controls started at the Surrey Central City store on April 9, but that on Monday they had spread to all locations.
“To protect the health and safety of our customers and employees, T&T stores are starting to provide a temperature control service,” said an online statement.
Not “particularly useful”
British Columbia provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday that temperature testing may not be the best way to ensure people with COVID-19 don’t get in in a store.
“I don’t think temperature control is particularly helpful,” said Henry.
“We know that with this virus people can have very mild symptoms – about two thirds of three 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 all the symptoms and stay home if there is a possibility that they have the virus.
Henry said store measures, such as installing Plexiglas shields between staff and customers, are an effective way to protect staff.
A spokesperson for Loblaw said in an email that T&T is operating independently and that Loblaw has no similar plans at this time.
The spokesperson sent CBC News a statement from T&T CEO Tina Lee calling for voluntary temperature controls.
“The service uses an infrared thermometer which can be used at a safe distance without physical contact. If clients have a fever, they will be asked to rest at home and contact their health care provider, “said Lee.