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Waterbury schools hand out thermometers at food distribution sites


WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH)– We’ve seen many school districts hand out food for families stuck at home amid the pandemic. Now, families are being given another tool to stay safe.

At Chase Elementary School, it’s one of 30 sites where families have been coming to pick up meals everyday since the pandemic started. On Monday, they’re heading home with an extra tool to be prepared.

“I came to get my meal for my kids. I get two for one,” said Alfred Lewis, a Waterbury parent.

It’s been a long three months of trying to stay coronavirus-free for the Lewis family and their 5th and 6th graders at home.

“The thing is, we’ve been home. We haven’t been anywhere. So I figure we can’t get it without going anywhere,” said Lewis.

But with more sectors of the state’s economy reopening June 17, the state has ramped up coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and is now partnering with municipalities to distribute some 85,000 thermometers statewide.

“Our health department was aggressive in trying to get Waterbury’s share of that in order to hand them out to the community,” said Will Clark, COO, Waterbury Schools.

Waterbury Schools is handing out more than 2,000 thermometers at all of their food-distribution sites Monday.

“These are just tools for parents to use that may not have access to that technology. They could use that thermometer to keep an eye on their kids make sure they’re healthy,” said Clark.

The Kinsa thermometers have smart technology that connects to an app and links to virtual health support. And if you’re wondering what thermometers have to do with food distribution…

“People who are food insecure are less likely to have thermometers in the home,” said Clark.

Public health official Cynthia Vitone says a thermometer is part of that stockpile of tools everyone should have in case they get sick. And part of the city’s efforts to slow the spread.

“We’ve been doing contact tracing with all of the people who have tested positive for coronavirus since our very first case,” said Cynthia Vitone, Assistant Director Public Health, City of Waterbury.

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