Smart Thermometers Available To SFUSD Families

The San Francisco Unified School District is giving free thermometers to families in an effort to encourage improved health monitoring.

District officials partnered with San Francisco-based public health and tech company Kinsa, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the University of California, San Francisco to give away over 8,000 smart thermometers to district families. They’ll be given away Monday in a one-day event to families with students in the San Francisco Unified School District, at the district’s 19 free meal distribution sites.

The coronavirus pandemic created a shortage of the device.

"Especially with COVID it was hard to get thermometers," SFUSD Director of Health and Nursing Services Mary Jue said. "A lot of families don't have thermometers at home, so we wanted to make sure that families could monitor their health during the summertime."

The Kinsa Smart thermometers connect to a mobile phone app that keeps a running record of temperatures and gives advice based on the person’s age and additional symptoms.

"(It will say) you should stay home today and contact your health care provider or you're free to go to work or school," Jue said.

The temperature and symptom data is aggregated anonymously to create a health weather map that can be used by public health officials to determine where best to deploy resources.

"Providing these thermometers free of charge to families is a win-win for our community and for public health," SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said in a release. "We want to ensure that families are supported in monitoring their health and knowing what to do if they exhibit symptoms of illness, including COVID-19."

Kinsa has roughly 1.5 million smart thermometers in circulation across the country to track the spread of illness.