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story.lead_photo.caption The Callaway County Commission is planning on sharing a portion of its CARES funding with schools.

The Callaway County Commission is working with local public schools to install thermal scanners in school buildings.

"We are working with (school districts) to make schools a little safer," Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann said.

The temperature monitors will be able to scan groups of students as they enter the building, checking for high temperatures. School officials would then be able to check identified individuals for a fever.

Though not everyone diagnosed with COVID-19 experiences fever, it is one common symptom. A high temperature might also be a sign of some other illness.

While the future is still uncertain, most local schools have expressed the intention to reopen for in-person classes in the fall, if possible.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends students or employees stay home if they are sick or are experiencing symptoms. The CDC also recommends daily health checks such as temperature screening.

The commission is still collecting bids, but each unit could cost around $10,000, according to documents from the Fulton Public School District's Wednesday meeting.

The commission plans to fund 80 percent of the costs using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds, while each school district will chip in 20 percent.

Callaway County has $5.2 million in CARES Act funding available to cover costs related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. School districts are also receiving CARES funds.

"This idea was kind of put together by the superintendents," Jungermann said. "They all kind of put their heads together."

Jungermann said the commission is working with the Fulton, New Bloomfield R-3, South Callaway R-2 and North Callaway R-1 school districts, as well as with Jefferson City School District to outfit its schools in Holts Summit.

Jungermann is also reaching out to local private schools St. Peter Catholic School and Kingdom Christian Academy to see if they are interested.

Jungermann hopes the units will be in place by the time students return to class.

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