Thermal cameras deemed ineffective, deactivated

In+2020%2C+thermal+cameras+were+purchased+through+a+foreign+vendor+by+the+county.+Despite+the+quality%2C+the+cameras+were+seen+as+ineffective+and+not+fit+for+preventing+the+spread+of+Covid-19.+The+Fayette+County+Board+of+Education+has+since+decided+to+deactivate+all+thermal+cameras.

Annika Pepper

In 2020, thermal cameras were purchased through a foreign vendor by the county. Despite the quality, the cameras were seen as ineffective and not fit for preventing the spread of Covid-19. The Fayette County Board of Education has since decided to deactivate all thermal cameras.

Abi Carter, Editor

In July, the Fayette County Board of Education made the executive decision to disable the thermal cameras purchased in 2020. According to Board member Scott Hollowell, the cameras were found to be ineffective.

“They caught very few cases and there were many false positives,” Hollowell said. “It was very time consuming.”

Prior to deactivation, Peachtree City residents raised questions regarding the reliability of the company and handling of the technology. While in October 2020,Prowler Staff Writer Craig Bardo highlighted concerns with the efficiency of the cameras themselves.

“They were more trouble than they were worth,” Hollowell said. 

At least one camera was installed at every school in the county. The cameras were purchased through ESPLOST 2 at the price of $525,000. 

“I don’t feel like it will impact ESPLOSTs in the future, because the people complaining never voted for them in the first place,” Hollowell said. 

Other protocols have been implemented around the county to help schools fight Covid-19 and the Delta Variant, including tiered response measures on a school-by-school basis. 

The Board of Education meets again tonight 7 p.m. at the Lafayette Education Center. All meetings are recorded and available here.

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