The Gervais School District has announced that they will be using contact tracing devices as students return to school in order to comply with guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education. In a letter to parents accompanied by a video the district has explained what the contact tracing devices are and how they work.
Students from grades 6-12 will wear the contact tracing devices on a lanyard, suspended from the student's neck while in school and if one contact tracing device comes within 6 feet of another device, it will vibrate and blink red. When the students -- and the devices they are wearing -- separate beyond six feet, the devices will turn green and stop vibrating.
At the end of the day, students return the devices and the data is downloaded from them. If there is a positive case, a report can be run outputting the contacts of the infected student, as well as how long other students were in their vicinity.
According to the district, these devices will not be worn by students in Preschool through 5th grade because those students are much more contained and have fewer people in their groups. I also want to emphasize that the tracers are not GPS devices. The tracers do not track the location of students or staff. They only track the amount of time the device spends while within 6 feet of another device.
The school district circulated this video, which explains how they work and what measures the district is taking.