Grant helps schools fight flu

Parents at Mesquite Elementary to get special thermometer

Grant helps schools fight flu

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Vail School District is going high tech in the fight against the flu and colds at one of its elementary schools.

A volunteer coordinator and parent at the school applied for a grant last year that would allow all the parents at Mesquite Elementary to get a Kinsa thermometer for free. The school received the grant, becoming one of 500 schools in the nation to get the money.

Here’s how it works. The parent gets the thermometer and downloads an app to their smart phone. The parent can take and monitor the temperature of everyone in their household, including their student. It only takes a couple of seconds for the thermometer to read the temperature. The parent has the choice to take their child’s temperature once a week or as needed. The app will store those temperatures so the parent can keep of track of things. It also allows the parent to add symptoms that include, fever, headache, stomach and fever.

The app also allows the parent access to see statistics for the rest of the class. It won’t reveal students’ identities or personal information, but it will provide general results such as Student A had a fever and has been coughing a lot. This allows parents to see if a potential illness is present at the school.

Mesquite is not the first Arizona school to use the thermometers. Bella Vista Elementary School in Sierra Vista has had them since the 2018-19 school year.

According to a spokeswoman for the Sierra Vista Unified School District, the school’s nurse applied for the free program and the school was accepted. Rebecca Bentz of SVUSD said all Bella Vista students and staff were given the opportunity to receive a Kinsa thermometer and use the app that year. This year the thermometers are available for Kindergarten and staff.

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