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Dothan City Schools install thermal imaging cameras to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 4:41 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

In the midst of a pandemic and with infection rates climbing, the Dothan City School System has found a quick and hands-free way to check temperatures to help stop the spread of the virus.

Dothan City Schools has installed thermal imaging cameras on 17 of their campuses to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Through the Covid relief fund DCS was able to purchase 23 thermal imaging cameras.

“This identifies it before they ever get to their classroom. So before they could potentially infect maybe other classmates, we’ve identified the issue and can send them to the nurse and identify if they should go home or not,” Charla Godwin, maintenance supervisor said.

Each Dothan City School has one camera while the bigger campuses such as Dothan Prep and Dothan High have three.

“The advantage of having three different cameras in three different locations is that we can be able to monitor all of our students and all of our staff at one time. If you’re doing it at three different areas we have all the students and grade levels and staff members covered,” Scott Faulk, principal Dothan Preparatory Academy said.

The panda shaped cameras are fun to look at and can also check 30 to 40 students temperatures at one time.

“Houston County is in high risk so since we have so many students on campus we cant take every individuals temperature. So when they walk through the doors we have this imaging camera set up, it makes it easier to take everyone temperature and everybody feels safer and more protected,” Moriah Hogans, 9th grader at Dothan Prep said.

If you’re face lights up green, you’re good to go. If you’re red, you’ll have to go see the nurse.

“It makes me feel safer knowing if I have a low temp or a high temp because I’m not able to take it every morning. It lets them know if they have a high temp, possibly high risk, low risk, whether or not they’re safe or not safe,” Gabriel Medina, 9th grader at Dothan Prep said.

But this isn’t a device just used to track Covid-19.

“Even if its not Covid, even if it’s a high fever coming on from strep throat, anything that could be contagious the more we contain it. The quicker we can identify anything that could be spreadable,” Lynn Chan, school nurse at Selma Street Elementary said.

Dothan City Schools will continue to use these permanent devices for different viruses throughout the seasons.

Dothan City Schools want to remind parents that this device is not being recorded in anyway and the facial recognition feature is not being used. Families are urged to keep checking students temperatures before they get to school.

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