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TCSS to buy walk through temperature detectors

The Troup County School System is purchasing walkthrough body temperature detectors to help eliminate the spread of COVID-19 once school starts back.

During Thursday night’s meeting, the school board approved the purchase of 35 walkthrough body temperature detectors from SafeCheckUSA at the total cost of $99,950.00. 

TCSS bought nine temperature detectors with one sensor, for forehead scanning, and 26 with two sensors — one on the wrist and one on the forehead. 

Superintendent Brian Shumate said the middle schools and high schools will likely have two scanners apiece. Some of the elementary schools will have two, while others might only have one. 

“We plan to use the CARES money to get reimbursed,” Shumate said. “This is another step as a district that we want to take to reduce exposure as much as possible by checking temperatures every day as kids walk in.”

Shumate said the school system hasn’t announced back to school plans yet, partly due to the recent rise in cases in Troup County. However, he said ordering the temperature scanners now should allow them to be in place by the time school starts in the fall. 

“I think this is very forward thinking,” said board member Cathy Hunt. 

Hunt was also surprised that the cost for 35 of the machines was so low.

“In my opinion, they are fairly inexpensive for what we’re getting,” Shumate said. “We’ve talked to other districts who are using them, and they are satisfied with them.”

Shumate said that the temperature scanners can check the temperatures of 70 people per minute. The scanners do not identify each person but an alarm will sound if a student has a temperature. At that point, he said school leadership will handle each case as it comes up.

Shumate said scanning each student will likely slow down the process of heading into school each day, but TCSS is looking at options to make it as smooth a process as possible. Shumate also said the machines aren’t very portable, so it’s likely a few will be used at Callaway Stadium and other frequently used areas.