September 28, 2021

Will US Schools Have Temperature Checks When They Reopen?

As school administrators discuss school reopening plans, what do you think they have in mind for temperature checks of students? Schools in other countries, like China and Vietnam, have already reopened schools, and pictures such as these show how the students submit to having their temperature taken before they can enter the school each morning.

Lining up for temperature checks each morning seems to be something that most students wouldn’t mind doing, but some parents could easily see this as an invasion of privacy and find a way to fight school administrators on this. That is how many new school policies end up getting struck down.

Sure, there are those that may argue that a person’s body temperature won’t necessarily screen everyone that carries a virus. Studies have shown there are many asymptomatic people who have the virus but don’t show any signs. So how do we help protect schools each day? The last thing we need is the virus circulating through a school and kids taking the virus back home to their families, particularly those that have elderly adults or parents that have preexisting health conditions where contracting the virus might put them at extreme risk of severe problems, maybe even death.

Despite attempts by students to try and skip school by faking having a fever (Ferris Bueller, the kid in ET), there are also many parents who have sent their kids to school despite them having a cold or fever … probably because they had an important meeting at work they didn’t want to miss – which they would have if they had to stay home with a sick kid. But in a COVID-19 world, this may be more acceptable, and having a sick kid stay home may now be seen as helping the community. Also, many businesses have found better ways for having people work from home, so it may be easier for most to stay home with a sick child but still remain productive at work. This won’t work for everyone, but certainly there will be more understanding.

Schools will need to address how to keep their communities safe, and lining up for temperature checks each morning may be the way to go.

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