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DIGGING DEEPER: Weather causes inaccurate temperature screenings

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ENDWELL (WBNG) -- This fall, you'll likely have to get your temperature checked before entering many schools, businesses or doctor's offices.

It seems like a safe practice, but certain conditions can make thermometers inaccurate, putting you and your family at risk.

Homer Brink Elementary School Nurse Kristin Armstrong says students at the school had temperatures over 100. She noticed there's certain weather conditions where the thermometers don't work so well.

"During extreme temperature changes where it's really hot outside or really cold they're not super accurate," said Armstrong.

It's become common for schools to use forehead thermometers, since it limits contact, but health experts say the temperature outside can make the reading incorrect.

UHS Nurse Practicioner Courtney Ellis-Jamison. told 12 News, "Because everyone is screening for temperatures that's becoming a huge problem."

She works with Southern Tier schools to help oversee COVID-19 safety guidelines. She told 12 News while there are no problems with the devices themselves, coming from a hot or cold climate can affect any type of thermometer.

"Your body temperature could be falsely high or low," said Ellis-Jamison.

She said especially with forehead thermometers, they need to be used correctly to get an accurate result.

She reccomends when using one to always look at the manufacturers instructions, check temperatures in a climate controlled setting and make sure the device is close enough to the person's head.

At Homer Brink, they're already making adjustments.

"We're actually going to keep the thermometers inside the doorway, we're going to have the students come right up to the doorway that way you know the thermometers are in a stable environment," said Armstrong.

She told 12 News they may even need to implement a holding area inside for students if their readings are coming back too high or too low, to allow their bodies to acclimate.

Along with the temperature checks, students wear masks, social distance and are monitored for any other symptoms.

Chloe Vincente

Chloe Vincente is an Evening News Anchor at 12 News.

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