ST. LOUIS – The Kinsa FLUency Program is helping students at Kipp Wonder Academy in south St. Louis City avoid the spread of COVID in its classrooms with thermometers that are linked to an app and donated by Lysol.
“Our entire district was virtual,” Kipp Wonder Academy School Nurse Coordinator Sheryl Simmons said. “Since March of 2020, when the entire country pretty much shut down.”
But just five months into the coronavirus pandemic, she saw her students again in August. There were new COVID-19 precautions and hybrid virtual learning. But, every family could go online with the Kinsa Thermometer and app.
“I thought it was easier for parents to be able to take their temperatures at home,” Simmons said.
That function allowed parents to keep their kids home if they ran a fever.
Lysol donated three thermometers to each student, staff member, and teacher in the Kinsa FLUency Program, which launched in 2014. Approximately 100 Missouri K-12 schools enrolled. Nationwide, 4,000 schools signed up this year. Kinsa expects 3,000 more for the 2021 – 2022 school year. This buys time against the spread of any illness.
Kipp school counselor Brittney Wilkins has a five-year-old. She also found some much-needed guidance.
“In the winter, he actually had a fever. And one of the great things about the thermometer is, not only does it provide the temp, it also gives you tips of what you should do based on those symptoms,” Wilkins said.
Parents get information, and so does the app.
“We don’t need to know that Kim in St. Louis is sick,” Nita Nehru said. “That’s not what we care about.”
Nehru founded the FLUency Program years before the COVID pandemic. The Kinsa app can track illness in a group that signs up. However, she said the company will not share any information from a very small group. She said it would be too easy to figure out who in a group of only five would have a sore throat.
“If there’s 100 people in a group and there’s one report of the flu, we will share that because you have a right to know. But, it won’t say who it is.”
So, schools that sign up only see numbers, not names. Parents like KIPP physical ed teacher Tiffany Krawiecki also said data means empowerment for patients.
“I think it makes it easier for me to explain to the doctor what’s going on. And then, that’s something I can physically show them,” Krawiecki said.
Time, guidance, and empowerment are more weapons for families to fight COVID-19.
For more information on the Kinsa Health FLUency Program, visit https://kinsahealth.com/kinsa-for-schools.