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School district decides against temperature checks for face-to-face instruction

By Staff | Aug 5, 2020

Temperature checks will no longer be taken for those students returning to campuses at the end of August for face-to-face learning.

School District of Lee County officials made the decision based on the latest guidance from health officials and informed district families of the latest recommendations through an e-mail last week.

The letter stated that the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics released a white paper for superintendents stating “the FCAAP does not recommend temperature checks at school. It is expensive, time consuming and not sensitive for early infection.”

Guidance regarding the removal of temperature checks was also provided from the Florida Department of Health-Lee County. The agency recommended removing temperature checks because:

– A fever is only one of the many symptoms a child may present with 45 percent up to age 9 and 35 percent for ages 10-18.

– Children who are infected are just as likely to be asymptomatic as they are to have a fever.

– Infected individuals are most likely to transmit the virus in the few days prior to developing symptoms.

– A normal temperature may create a false sense of security.

The new guidance led the district to remove its planned requirement for checking of each student’s temperature as they arrive at school. The district, instead, asks that parents and guardians check their child’s temperature at home before sending their child to school each day, which will keep the district in accordance with the FCAAP recommendations. A child who has a temperature, or any symptoms that could be related to COVID-19, should be kept home.

The e-mail also stated that for those who wish to update their instructional model selection due to the change in procedure, can do so by contacting their child’s school.