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Temperature kiosks could make return to school safer

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School administrators have a lot to worry about as students begin going back to classrooms for in-person learning. Wearing masks, social distancing, paying attention to who’s sniffling and sneezing — all while being ready to shift back to virtual learning in case there’s a COVID-19 outbreak.

Local businessman Bob Logan can’t solve every bit of unease but thinks he can help.

Logan is founder and CEO of Mobil Trackr, an Indianapolis-based company that sells kiosks to check people’s temperature before they enter a building.

Mobil Trackr also markets to other businesses, but Logan said the main focus right now is schools, which can get a discount on services.

Mobil Trackr includes the technology to identify faces, which can help with contact tracing. Information is encrypted and stored on the cloud.

“If all you have is a little machine, there’s really no way to talk about who came, when they came,” said Logan, who had COVID-19 in December 2020.

Mobil Trackr is in two schools in Indianapolis, including Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis, a charter middle school on the west side.

Robert Marshall, founder and executive director of Vanguard Collegiate, said his school has two devices. The school has 87 students, according to state education data, and almost 80% are Black or African American.

“It’s really crucial for us as a small school to pay attention to how we’re protecting our scholars and staff and extended school community,” Marshall said.

Before the school bought the kiosks, Marshall said the original plan for when students come back Feb. 16 was to have three staff members responsible for checking temperatures.

The COVID-19 pandemic will end eventually, and it won’t always be a top priority for schools to make sure everyone who enters the building doesn’t have a high temperature, but Marshall said he can see the usefulness of Mobil Trackr’s technology after the pandemic because the facial recognition software can help with attendance and keeping track of who enters the building.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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