SFUSD Families Receive Free Thermometers to Help Track Health Symptoms

Posted Date

SFUSD Families Receive Free Thermometers to Help Track Health Symptoms

Press Release

San Francisco (June 26, 2020) - The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) in partnership with Kinsa, San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is giving free thermometers to San Francisco families in an effort to encourage families to monitor their health.

The 8,800 thermometers were donated to SFUSD’s School Health Programs Department by San Francisco-based public health and technology company Kinsa, and will be distributed to families at the District’s 19 free meals distribution sites at a one-day event on Monday, June 29. The thermometers will first be distributed at SFUSD sites, and as supplies last SFUSD will work with community-based organizations where free meals are also being distributed to give away thermometers at those sites.

Families with students in SFUSD who come to the meals distribution sites will be given free thermometers. The Kinsa Smart thermometer can be used with a smartphone application to track fever and other symptoms, and receive guidance on when to seek care. Kinsa aggregates information from more than 1.5 million smart thermometers across the country to track the spread of illness. This aggregated illness information is publicly available at healthweather.us and is used by departments of public health to guide health response and 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. “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.”

At the meals distribution sites, SFUSD families who are picking up free meals will be offered a thermometer and support in downloading and using the Kinsa app. Kinsa’s privacy policy is available here.

“It’s critical that we continue to do everything we can to support the health and wellness of our families, especially during this challenging time,” SF Board of Education President Mark Sanchez said. “This is a great way for families to access resources to monitor and learn about their health symptoms.”

The thermometers will help to increase the data available to epidemiologists who are tracking the virus. 

“Expanding access to this technology will both help to protect families in San Francisco and help public health experts understand better how the virus is circulating,” said Dr. George Rutherford, who directs the Prevention and Public Health Group at UC San Francisco. “We must do everything possible to engage our most vulnerable communities, so they can take quick action to safeguard their health.”

Media who are interested in covering the thermometer distribution are invited to come to Lincoln High School, 2162 24th Avenue, from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Monday, June 29.