Rising Omicron Cases Threaten Schools; Thermal Scanners May Be the Solution

After a year of being reopened, many schools across the United States are considering going back to remote learning. As Omicron cases soar, teachers and staff members don’t feel safe continuing in-person instruction, but parents are back at work and not able to monitor their children if they were to do remote learning. The best solution to satisfy both sides would be to use 2M Technology’s line of thermal scanners to prevent the spread of infection and keep schools open.

Effects of Omicron On Schools

The biggest issue facing schools today is the discourse between teachers and parents. With Omicron cases surging, staff members don’t feel comfortable continuing in-person instruction. In fact, a lot of teachers have left the profession since the beginning of the pandemic due to feeling burnt out from the lack of COVID-19 safety protocols and mounting pressure from parents and administrators. On the opposite end, parents are pushing against closing schools because many of them work outside of the home and would not be able to provide childcare if they were to do remote learning. Additionally, parents are concerned that the quality of online learning is significantly lower than in-person education.

Another major issue affecting schools is the shortage of teachers and substitutes. Substitutes are choosing not to risk exposing themselves to the virus while teachers are having to take off to isolate themselves after testing positive or being exposed. Some schools are so strained that they are needing the remaining teachers teach two classes at once in crowded classrooms which heightens the risk of infection since the students are being put in close proximity to each other. This shortage is not just affecting teachers, but bus drivers as well. With less bus drivers, bus routes are being reduced which causes dangerous traffic to build up around pickup time. In some school districts, the shortages are so severe that their only option is to cancel classes for the day.

But even on days where school is still in session, students are experiencing a decline in the quality of education as a result of the teacher shortage. In a viral Reddit post from a New York City high school student, he describes how there are not enough teachers to teach so students are being put in crowded auditoriums for study hall periods in place of their actual classes. He explains that there is “functionally no learning occurring” and some of his peers have decided to just leave school because the “health conditions were safer outside of the auditorium”. He also recalls seeing a couple of his peers taking rapid COVID-19 tests during school and testing positive.

The Solution: 2M Thermal Scanners

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is a lot more contagious than the previous variants so proper precautions are necessary now more than ever. The best solution for school districts to stay open safely and prevent the spread of infection would be to use thermal scanners from 2M Technology. Our line of thermal scanners are able to detect high body temperatures which may indicate that someone is positive for COVID-19. The usage of thermal scanners will ease the health concerns of teachers and keep schools open, satisfying the needs of parents and students.

We carry a variety of different thermal scanners to meet the needs of any school. They’re contactless, quick, and offer a non-invasive method of detecting potential infections. If someone were to be detected with a high temperature, schools will be able to act quickly and send them home to isolate before any other further contact occurs. This reduces the spread of infection and remedies the issue of staff shortages.

Walk-Through Thermal Metal Detection Gates

As the first line of defense against infection, 2M’s walk-through thermal metal detection gates can be installed at the main entrances of schools. These devices function like regular metal detection gates to find dangerous items, but they are also capable of scanning the temperatures of each person who passes through. These gates make the schools safer by keeping out dangerous weapons and infections while saving on time. Instead of requiring each person to be checked by a metal detector and then a separate thermal scanner, it can be done simultaneously with our gates. This ensures that the entry process is quick and doesn’t cut into precious learning time.

Handheld Thermal Scanners

As mentioned before, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is more contagious than the previous ones so even more barriers against the spread of infection are needed. Once the students are inside the building, teachers equipped with our handheld thermal scanners would be able to temperature check each student before they enter the classrooms as the second line of defense. These scanners are compact, quick, and easy to operate. They won’t disrupt any class time but adds another layer of protection against infection in case an ill person was able to slip through the gates undetected.

Thermal Imaging Cameras

For communal areas with a lot of foot traffic such as cafeterias and student centers, we carry thermal imaging cameras that are capable of mass screening. These stationary cameras can scan the temperatures of multiple people at once as they pass through the camera’s view. If someone is being shown as having a high body temperature, an alert will be sent out so that the issue can be resolved quickly.

Face Recognition Access Control Terminals

Another good thermal scanning option for schools would be our face recognition access control terminals. These devices use facial recognition to grant or limit access to restricted areas like staff lounges, storage closets, or janitorial rooms. In addition, they are also capable of detecting an individual’s body temperature and have the ability to restrict access to those with high temperatures.

Omicron is most contagious variant and makes up the majority of COVID-19 cases in the United States. In order to control the spread and keep schools open, it’s important to take all the necessary precautions, like checking temperatures. If you would like to learn more about how our line of thermal scanners can protect your school, contact our sales experts by phone at +1 866-708-5401 or email sales@2mtechnology.net

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