Fairfax County students aren't getting their temps checked, and a lack of thermometers could be to blame

In Northern Virginia, FOX 5 has learned students riding on Fairfax County Public Schools buses are not receiving temperature checks before boarding the bus.

Checking temperatures has long been a mitigation measure for COVID-19 screening.

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One board member says it could be due to lack of thermometers. 

This topic surfacing during a virtual board meeting this week.

Board member Karen Corbett Sanders raising the issues about temperatures not being taken on buses potentially due to the availability of thermometers.

READ MORE: Fairfax County delaying in-person learning for select students

Even though it’s not a CDC recommendation, it is viewed by many school systems as the first mitigation measure.

This conversation taking place during Tuesday afternoon’s meeting between Fairfax County Public Schools board members and superintendent Scott Brabrand.

READ MORE: New Virginia COVID-19 measures in place; Fairfax County moves forward with plan to increase in-person learning

Facilities and Transportation Services Assistant Superintendent Jeff Platenberg addressing the issue, saying temperature checks on school buses are being phased OUT for students currently attending in person instruction.

Platenberg says it’s mostly due to staffing.

Corbett Sanders says she’s hearing it’s due to a lack of thermometers and demanded administrators address the issue plus reach out to the health department for additional resources and help.

This all comes as the teachers union says PPE is being stored in warehouses and not being distributed as needed in schools.
Regarding a possible thermometer shortage leading to temperature checks not being taken on buses, in a statement FCPS says,

“Our shortage is with staff, to conduct temperature checks on buses, not thermometers.  During the early cohorts, (few riders) we used bus drivers as attendants to conduct the temperature checks.  As more cohort (more riders) come back, we need those drivers driving the bus, not attending.”

The school district says temperatures for all students will be taken when they arrive at school.

We’re told unfortunately, there are not adequate numbers of bus attendants for the general education bus routes to take student temperatures and drivers cannot exit a bus with students aboard to take a student’s temperature.

We are told special education bus attendants will continue to conduct student temperature checks on special education bus routes as they are normally staffed with attendants.