If you’ve seen videos of airports in China and across the world where special cameras detect people with elevated temperatures and flag those individuals – well, that same service is likely coming to a Guilford County government building near you.

At the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Thursday, August 6 meeting, the commissioners will vote on whether to spend $419,000 on a “Dell/IntelliSite Thermal Vision system” to be installed in the county’s two courthouses and in other county-owned buildings that are heavily used by the public.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, one way to screen out possible virus carriers is to check for elevated temperatures, but it can be unwieldy to check one person at a time at the door – which is where systems of this type come in.

The commissioners will need to vote to approve the purchase before it happens, however, the fact that an item has made it onto the board’s agenda under “New Business” suggests that the majority of county commissioners are in favor of the move.

According to information provided to the Board of Commissioners, the system uses “thermal sensors to capture or detect thermal variance and compare [the variance] against a known data set” for the purpose of “identifying elevated body temperatures in point solutions mass detection.”

The system uses thermal cameras combined with artificial intelligence to recognize even slight variances in temperatures.

The plan calls for the cameras to be placed in the county’s two courthouses in Greensboro and High Point, health department facilities in the two cities, as well as in the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services on Maple Street in Greensboro.

Trained county employees will be able to monitor the cameras from a central location or from the web.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips said this week that he does anticipate the county will make the purchase

“Based on the information I’ve reviewed so far, as well the staff briefing about the product demonstration,” Phillips said, “this system will be much more efficient from a staffing needs perspective – and, I believe, a more accurate way of checking core body temperatures at our most utilized entrances in an effort to better protect the health of our citizens and frontline county staff for the foreseeable future.”