Space-age technology welcomes borough visitors

CHAMBERSBURG—Those who cross the threshold of Chambersburg’s City Hall will be greeted by something that looks like it could’ve been used by the futuristic cartoon characters The Jetsons.

The Meridian Temperature Verify Kiosk takes the temperatures of visitors, providing a reading within seconds by showing a green screen or red screen, depending on the person’s temperature.

“Our borough customers coming into the lobby to do business use it along with any visitor to City Hall who is meeting with Borough employees,” explained Paul Flohr, health and safety programs manager for the borough. “Our employees may use the unit along with a separate employee temperature station nearby that uses only a handheld device.”

Flohr said a similar unit, a Bolide Tech Group Access Temperature Kiosk, is in the service center for employees of the electric and gas departments.

The borough purchased both units from Staples and they were both up and running last month.

Flohr said the Meridian unit cost $2,488 and the Bolide unit was $2,563. The Borough Manager was authorized by council to purchase equipment in response to the COVID-19 health crisis and borough officials have applied for CARES Act grant funding to refund us for their cost.

Flohr said a backup handheld infrared thermometer is on hand at each location to verify any questionable reading.

“We have not had any red readings to this point,” he said. “If we did, the attendant would use the handheld device to take three readings to verify the temperature. If the temperature is still over 100 degrees, the patron has to leave the building. They could return on another day to do business or use one of the other services, such as the dropbox or drive through window for bill payment.”

Flohr said both units will be used until further notice.

“The use of both units is based on the amount of COVID-19 cases we have in our county, PA Department of Health and CDC guidelines and the upcoming cold and flu season,” he explained. “We have no idea how long we will continue to utilize temperature checks at these facilities, but it represents one of the suggested guidelines for the Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania Businesses.”