Temperature Screening Kiosks to Detect COVID-19 in Public Places

City of Dallas bought 100 infrared thermometer kiosks

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Temperature screenings may soon be the norm at public places in Dallas.

The city of Dallas has purchased 100 infrared thermometer kiosks from Wello Inc. of Addison.

They will be used at city buildings reopen to the public.

The devices are manufactured for Wello by a Richardson firm called Suntronic, which placed one in its own lobby to screen workers since the appearance of the coronavirus.

“Practicing this every morning, having their temperatures checked, has not been a problem. In fact, it has been almost second nature for us by now,” said Suntronic executive David Ly.

The screening helps ensure that employees who sometimes work in close quarters are not contagious with fevers.

Wello founder Rik Heller said the screening kiosks have been in use for years. They were posted at Dallas elementary schools near Presbyterian Hospital when a patient infected with Ebola was being treated there. They have also been used in jails.

Heller said the product has become very popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This virus has gotten a lot of attention, deservedly so,” Heller said.

He demonstrated how a camera on the device helps line a person up for the temperature check by an infrared sensor.

“As soon as you line up with it, its sensor takes a temperature on your forehead, to the campus right about there where your glasses hang. And that is the place where you are warmest,” Heller said.

The device prints a sticker to identify people who have been successfully scanned.

The city of Dallas is still working on a reopening plan for city buildings and has not determined exactly where the devices will be used.

A thermometer kiosk could be posted beside metal detectors that screen visitors at city hall. They may be at city recreation centers and libraries, as well.

Heller said he has been told Dallas plans to use the devices at Dallas Love Field, too.

“Not necessarily for passengers, as we're aware, but working back areas where people are handling things,” Heller said.

Temperature checks could become routine in many public places.

“I like for my family to go shop at places where we know everyone is well and not passing any contagious bugs around,” Ly said.

It could be a step toward making people feel more comfortable in the wake of a pandemic. 

But there is a cost. 

The city of Dallas used $884,500 in Federal CARES COVID-19 relief money to buy the devices.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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