DALLAS, Texas — Students in the five Dallas ISD schools under Ebola watch started the new school week learning that electronic scanners were being installed to monitor for any fevers, often the first symptom of the Ebola virus.
Breitbart Texas learned from district spokesman Andre Riley that scanners were already tested at Lowe Elementary, the connecting Tasby Middle School, and Conrad High on Monday, October 6th. Rogers and Hotchkiss elementary schools will be installed on Tuesday, October 7th.
CBS DFW reported that the fever-screening devices were set up in the school nursing stations to find fevers in any children who show signs of illness. The scanners are on loan to the district from Dallas-based Wello Inc. and they will allow nurses to screen students for fevers without touching them, also eliminating the risk of spreading illness or disease.
Riley told Breitbart Texas that Wello came to offer their help. They were concerned as citizens over the situation. As a local company they were able to help with their product WelloStation, that measures body temperature.
“This is another layer of precaution for us to be proactive beyond online communications,” a Dallas ISD spokeswoman from Riley’s office told Breitbart Texas. She said that although “none of our kids have the virus, we are taking measures to stay in front and monitor at a higher level” and relieve anxiety for parents whose children attend the affected schools.
She described the monitors as being like a touch screen devise that can read temperature from 4-5 inches away from a student’s face in two to three seconds. Readings are then transmitted by email and anything that is over approximately 100 degrees sends off an alert.
The spokeswoman was not totally certain on the 100 degrees but said that it’s an approximate figure to use. She pointed out that a fever doesn’t necessarily indicate the Ebola virus but it does help them to identify any illness at this time.
According to the Wello website, data is stored in “the HIPAA compliant WelloCloud storage system for compliance and reporting purposes.” Often used in a workplace application, WelloStation says that it “keeps productivity high and workers working well.” Wello, a subsidiary of FreshLoc Technologies, also provides applications adapted to education solutions.
However, the Dallas ISD spokeswoman, who asked to remain nameless, said the data will not be stored longterm but “cleared” in less than 24 hours. She also said that WelloStations will remain in the five schools during the next few weeks until the risk of infection passes.
Meanwhile, the five students who came in contact with Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, remain on homebound education until the 21 day observation period ends. The district’s health updates online page stated that students continue to “show no symptoms of infection.”
Dallas ISD also advised that unless there is “a significant change in the situation,” the district will start to “draw down on additional staffing” that was placed at the five impacted schools. Areas like Student Support Services and Translation will be among those to resume their regular functions, although the district will maintain the same level of additional nursing and custodial support during the week of October 6 as it had the week prior.
The district indicated in the health update that it will remain in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control, the City of Dallas, and Dallas County Health and Human Services. They will also maintain a district liaison at the daily briefings at the Dallas County Emergency Operations Center.
Riley said that they are working towards moving past this Ebola watch and back to focusing on the great things going on in Dallas ISD and that they don’t want to see all the positive achievement they are experiencing overshadowed by the Ebola situation.
His internal office spokeswoman added, “we’re adjusting.”
Breitbart Texas reported that Duncan remains in critical condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.