Temperature checks to return at N.C. legislature entrances

June 17, 2020 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — People trying to enter the two buildings operated by the North Carolina General Assembly will get their temperatures checked again after the COVID-19 protocol was discontinued this week.

Senate Democrats complained to chamber leader Phil Berger after the checks by General Assembly police and nurses were discontinued.

No one ever registered a temperature high enough to warrant a medical referral since the process began several weeks ago, according to Paul Coble, the legislative complex administrator. He said on Tuesday that staff would instead emphasize deep cleaning, personal protective equipment and other initiatives to discourage the virus’ spread.


But in a letter Wednesday to Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, Coble said temperature checks would resume next week while the House and Senate are in session.

“I can appreciate your concern that the procedure provided an extra level of safety,” Coble told Blue. Coble said the cleaning and safety initiatives and other operating adjustments have resulted in well over $1 million in added expenses to the General Assembly’s budget.

Senate Democrats also asked Berger to reinstitute Senate chamber seating that keeps lawmakers at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart. Berger said on Wednesday that senators are free to sit where they choose, but that separation would not be mandated.