Voluntary Temperature Checks at UNC Asheville

Student holds an infrared thermometer near the forehead of a university staff memberHighsmith student worker Miles Peay performs a touch-free temperature check on a UNC Asheville staff member
August 27, 2020

When you’re on campus, you may find voluntary temperature-checking stations popping up at different times at entrances to UNC Asheville high-traffic buildings like Brown Hall, Ramsey Library and Highsmith Student Union.

The thermometer used is touchless – held a few inches away from the forehead. Elevated body temperature can be one of the signs of the coronavirus, and the purpose of the temperature-checking is to spot people who may have COVID-19 symptoms starting to manifest.

“It’s going to make it safer for everyone else and make sure I’m actually good to be here,” said sophomore Trinity Lucas Lewis of Greensboro before getting her temperature checked at Highsmith Student Union. “It’s not a big deal – it’s an easy thing to do.”

Highsmith student worker Miles Peay, a junior who signed up for shifts taking temperatures, said he feels his job is worthwhile. “It’s a necessary job and I thought it would be a good thing to do.” And since he, along with all of the people he encounters on the job are wearing face coverings and standing a safe distance apart, he isn’t scared. “I’m alright – as long as everyone’s being careful, I’ll be alright,” said Peay.

That sentiment is echoed by Lucas Lewis: “It’s not like they’re asking a lot – please wear your masks – it’s an easy thing to do,” she said.

There are natural variations in body temperature during the day, and different people may have slightly different ranges of normal. If the temperature-checking station finds a temperature of 100.4 or above, that person is asked to go back home for the day, and if the raised temperature continues the next day, call for evaluation and treatment from the Health and Counseling Center (for students) or their primary care physician (faculty and staff).

For more information about steps we can all take to prevent spread of COVID-19, please visit https://coronavirus.unca.edu/faq/about-covid-19/