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Supplying local schools, families with necessities for in-person learning

A chart showing symptoms of illness (CNN)
A chart showing symptoms of illness (CNN)
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Returning to school in-person has been delayed for some schools because they don't have the proper supplies.

Another concern is families out of compliance with daily health assessments because they don't have a thermometer or can't afford one.

Rochester Elementary is just one of seven schools in the area to be part of Lysol + Kinsa FLUency health program.

Each family will receive a smart thermometer and Lysol cleaning products: two items which are both still facing national shortages and are vital for students to return to the classroom.

If staff and students are going to school in-person, they will have to take their temperature every day.

“We found through the program that 40% of families did not have a thermometer in the home prior to receiving one from the FLUency program,” Director of Communications Jane Putnam said.

The Kinsa smart thermometers allow school nurses, like Melissa Lemay with the Tuscola School District, to see the data. This will alert the school of a possible health issue before the kids arrive.

Last year, it helped stop the spread of the flu; this year, it's COVID-19.

“A lot of parents will put on there, 'My kid was just diagnosed with influenza' or 'My kid was diagnosed with strep,” Lemay said. “So, it helps me as a school nurse to try and track, and so when I have kids coming down complaining of certain things, it helped me to better care for them. "

The data is more helpful now than ever before, as some schools are relying on metrics to decide whether or not they should return to in-person learning,

While parents can use the app to go through a symptoms questionnaire, track fevers over time, and medication dosage, the school doesn't get all that information, nor can they associate it with a child's name.

Another vital part of the program is families and schools are being provided Lysol products.

"Even at the beginning of the school year, we moved the start of school back a week because we were having issues even getting our cleaning supplies and some things like that because things were on back order,” Lemay said.

Rochester, Forsyth, Maroa, Milford, Argenta, Oreana, and Tuscola schools at various grade levels are getting free thermometers and cleaning products for elementary families through this program.

Overall, there are 200 elementary schools in Illinois in the program. Throughout the United States and Canada, more than 350,000 families at 4,000 elementary schools have received supplies.

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