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School district installs thermal imaging cameras to check staff, students for COVID-19 symptoms

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 18:42:48-04

PAINESVILLE, Ohio — Painesville City Local Schools are back in session. About half of the district’s 2,900 students are connected virtually, the other half is learning in classrooms, according to Superintendent Josh Englehart.

The district’s plan to keep students, staff and teachers in school buildings safe includes everyone wearing a mask, plexiglass shields in some areas, hand sanitizer, cleaning and disinfecting supplies in each classroom, high tech cleaning and extra attention to high touch areas.

But, the first line of defense against COVID-19 starts at the door of each school. The district used grant money to purchase eight thermal imaging cameras to check for high temperatures as students enter school buildings.

“It’s that extra layer, the more layers you can provide the better. We recognize we can never reduce the risk to zero, but as close to zero as you can," said Englehart.

Three of the cameras are at Heritage Middle School.

“It’s been working very well for us,” said Principal Janis Svoboda.

There is one camera at each entrance to the school.

“We have two staff members, one monitors the camera and checks to see if there is a temperature over 100,” she explained.

If the camera picks up a fever, the second person is able to approach the child and take the student to the clinic where COVID-19 protocol is then followed.