NC school system to use thermal imaging to screen students’ temperatures

North Carolina news

BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) – Carteret County students won’t just be greeted by teachers and employees this school year — they’ll see a new gadget too.

Starting August 17, students​ and staff will have to go through a thermal imaging unit, before entering a Carteret County School. Each school in the district will have one located at the main entrance of its building.

The device reads someone’s body temperature from a distance in less than two seconds.

Dr. Rob Jackson is the district’s new superintendent. He says the tool will make it easier to screen people for possible fevers.

The process is simple. A person stands behind a taped line, takes off their mask, and the machine will read the person’s body temperature.

​”That will allow our students to come in, be able to get an initial skin temperature, as they come​ in the door, and hopefully be able to move on to the classrooms where we want them to be,” said Mike Mckay, the school district’s chief technology officer.

If a temperature reads higher than normal, school employees will perform a secondary screening with another thermometer.

Administrators say the tool helps practice social distancing, screens at a faster pace, and reduces wait times to enter schools.

“This was an opportunity for us to do the things we need to do in terms of that wellness check, but do it very rapidly,” said Jackson.

The company that makes the device told administrators that Carteret County Schools is the first school district in eastern North Carolina to use it.

“That’s what we’ve been told. I’ve got a feeling, that there may be others who jump on board very quickly,” said Jackson.

The superintendent says students riding school buses won’t have to go through the thermal imaging unit. Bus drivers will have their own thermometers to scan students before they board.

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