Tracking coronavirus: SF startup donates 2,000 smart thermometers to help East Bay families watch for COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco startup Kinsa donated 2,000 thermometers to the Pittsburg School District.

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Thermometers are hard to find right now so parents are especially grateful for the donation as they can check for the novel coronavirus while sheltering at home.

"I've been going to Costco and they're all sold out," said parent John Maestas. "They had the old school ones but those aren't accurate, so that's why we came over here to get one of these thermometers. So hopefully they work out good."

The digital thermometers do more than just give a temperature readout.

"The thermometers are digital that connect to an app on your phone and they can provide tips on health and can track temperatures of families," said Matthew Belasco, the school district's director of maintenance and operations.

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San Francisco based start-up Kinsa Health's new thermometer is showing promise as a tool to track the spread of COVID-19, and the areas where new hot spots are developing.

Kinsa says its data could be a good resource for health officials to track the virus as it spreads across the country. About a million of them are in use, allowing Kinsa to provide maps that show outbreaks.

School officials know it will be a help right now but they also hope parents will use it as a tool when school is back in session.

"It'll help parents make decisions whether to send their kids to school and that way we are protecting many of our scholars throughout our district," said Belasco

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"It's something we need at the house for the kids. We have 3 kids, so yes. And one is premature so it is going to help out a lot," said Maestas.

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