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Should You Screen Remote Volunteers During COVID-19?

remote screening

Under normal circumstances, remote-working volunteers rapidly pitch in to help with natural disasters or critical services. With the uncertainty and health risks surrounding COVID-19, deploying essential volunteers is made even more challenging than usual. Yet, there are good reasons to take the time necessary to screen remote volunteers for COVID-19, and require a negative test before deploying them.

Volunteer Screening: Building Trust

You should screen any volunteer who may interact directly with others, for COVID-19. In fact, many volunteer leaders take the extra step of screening all volunteers for COVID-19, including those who may contribute to service delivery over the phone or online. The goal in this screening is to build trust while implementing safety-oriented practices. Consider the following:

Screening protects vulnerable populations – Volunteers may inadvertently spread the coronavirus to those they are assisting. Often, these are at-risk populations, including the elderly and those with chronic health conditions.

Mitigating liability risks – Just like background checks and assessments, COVID-19 screenings can reduce liability exposures on the part of your organization. Failure to do this screening can put at risk your staff, your clients, and your organization’s reputation.

Screening provides peace of mind – If everyone in the organization has been screened for COVID-19, this establishes a framework that alleviates concerns about infection. The peace of mind such screening affords is worth the extra step.

COVID screening adds another layer of fraud protection – Volunteers undergoing screening for COVID are required to provide proof of their identity — helping you be sure you know the true identities of those who would volunteer.

Screening supports community safety efforts – By screening volunteers in your organization, you are contributing to the safety and wellness of the communities in which your organization serves.

As the pandemic continues to impact lives and economies, volunteer organizations provide critical services. Adding COVID-19 pre-screening to your operations supports your efforts in managing a quality, trusted, and engaged community organization.

This blog was inspired by a recent article by VIS partner Sterling Volunteers. VIS members receive a substantial discount on Sterling services.


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About VIS

Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc. (VIS) was established in 1972 for the purpose of providing insurance and risk management services for volunteer-based organizations. In addition to still providing these insurance services today on a nationwide scale, we have expanded to provide noninsurance resources for members to manage their risks and improve their operations. By transferring the volunteer risk exposure to our program, we can help you protect your organization. Contact us today at (800) 222-8920 for more information on our programs and services. Join now!