CLEVELAND — From portable fogging systems to thermal imaging cameras, Euclid City School District in Northeast Ohio has seemingly thought of it all in terms of protecting its students and staff from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The camera picks up the image as it comes through the door. This is the sensor that's calibrated to the body temperature. And if that person coming in has a temperature over a hundred degrees, a red box will go around that person's face and we'll stop them and take a secondary reading with a handheld thermometer,” said Patrick Higley, executive director of business operations at Euclid City School District.
“We want to have the best academics. We want to have the best extracurricular programs. You’ll see, I think when we walk through, we're going to have some of the best facilities available, and now we want to offer the best opportunities for safety and the health of our students and staff anywhere in the country,” Higley added.
With the hopeful hybrid return of all their students around the end of November, teams of people like Higley have been working around the clock to get their students back safely.
“We've been working literally night and day to try and get all these systems in place because we wanted to expedite the return of our students and staff as much as we could,” said Higley.
Implementing new technology some might not know exists.
“We have a bipolar ionization system in place as well, and that is in all of our buildings, throughout the district as well. And it neutralizes the air. Basically they use this type of system in hospital rooms, operating rooms, the ions, the negatively and positively charged ions springs, any kind of air particulates in the air, down to the surface. And within about ten minutes of me touching this store handle, for example, that any kind of residue from me, will be gone,” said Higley.
The additional technology and cleaning equipment plus the over 1,100 gallon drums of hand sanitizer ordered, 10,000 customized Euclid Schools face masks for students, and additional 40,000 disposable masks, and more…the price does not come cheap.
“Altogether we've spent about $790,000 on all the layers of protection that we put in place within the district,” said Higley.
Or without additional effort by those on the frontline to keep the students and staff safe, like cleaning staff member Monica Russell.
“It’s a little bit more work, but we do what we have to do because of this pandemic,” said Russell.
Thousands upon thousands spent, but all for a good reason.
“Everything that we do to keep our kids safe and healthy, and our staff safe and healthy is more than worth the cost of doing that. So number one the health and safety, number two, the education,” said Higley.
Some may wonder where the money is coming from for the additional technology and cleaning supplies. Each school allocates their money differently, but many have received money from the federal CARES Act and state and local funding to go toward coronavirus response.