Thermal energy scanner adding more protection for some schools

Coronavirus

LA GRANGE PARK, Ill. (NewsNation Now) — Schools across the country are finding new ways to keep students safe in the classroom. Social distancing and masks play a role, but a new machine adds an extra layer to COVID-19 protocols.

Dubak Electrical Group launched DuThermX — a body temperature measurement system. The contact-free, high-capacity system detects elevated body temperatures. The DuThermX system uses advanced thermal camera technology and can be integrated with existing security systems.

Daniel Metzger says his senior year at Nazareth Academy has been unlike any other year before. He says the machine gives them an added sense of relief in the midst of a terrifying pandemic.

“Masks in school. 6 feet apart at all times. All the desks are 6 feet apart. Temperature checks every single day. Glass panes in between us during lunch,” said Metzger. 

The 18-year-old ended his junior year with remote learning, because of the pandemic.

Now, he’s grateful to be back in the classroom.

“I feel very safe coming into school. I feel more safe here in school than I would say at the grocery store or outside in public,” said Metzger.

Giovanna Imbarrato is a mother of three. She said she is trying to balance her youngest in public school and older children in private school.

“I think that’s been the hardest part — not just for parents but for students themselves is trying to manage the schedule because it keeps changing. You know, one day you’re in school. One day you’re not in school,” said Imbarrato.

She says one of her main concerns when deciding to send her children back to class was their safety. 

“I think we were just talking about using the handheld device and how inconsistent some of them can be … and, oh, now I have a low battery. This thing doesn’t mess up,” said Imbarrato.

And to her, this machine is the solution to that problem.

Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Illinois, is one of eight schools that has the DuThermX. The machine is a contact-free, walk-through body temperature screening system. It’s able to take a temperature several feet away. If you get a green box over your face, you are good to go inside.

 And if not, a loud siren and red light will go off, after detecting someone with a fever. 

The cost can range from $2,000 to $20,000, depending on what features are included.

“Through the generosity of a donor, we were able to acquire this thermal energy scanner, which has made taking temperatures of our students so much more efficient — especially in the colder weather when the digital thermometer weren’t being really accurate,” said Nazareth Academy Principal Therese Hawkins.

Monica Piraino works with Dubak Electrical Group, the makers of the DuThermX Body Temperature Measurement System. She says the device can be used for concerts, sporting games and more.

“We can actually scan 16 people per second — which actually gets people through the doors. We can get anywhere from 800 to 1,200 per hour using this specific system,” said Monica Piraino.  

However, one concern with the device is privacy. Although the machine can detect faces and use video. Piraino says there is a feature to disable any recording from happening.

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