News and Announcements / News and Announcements

Crush the Curve Idaho Receives $200,000 Grant from The Rockefeller Foundation

Funds from the grant will allow Crush the Curve Idaho to provide nearly 10,000 smart thermometers to Idaho public schools in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19

MERIDIAN, ID – Today Crush the Curve Idaho announced that it has received a $200,000 grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to purchase smart thermometers to be used in Idaho public schools across 44 counties in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Through a partnership with Kinsa, a leading med-tech company, nearly 10,000 smart thermometers will be distributed to households within each participating school district. The thermometers are connected to an app, where parents can set up multiple profiles for members of their family. When a temperature is taken, the app can log it and record symptoms. Families can then choose to anonymously share this information with their school district and across Kinsa’s network. This information will allow schools to quickly detect early warning signs of spreading illness, ensure that communities have the available testing and additional resources to stop onward transmission, and forecast and predict future outbreaks.

The temperature data paired with Kinsa’s forecasting models will play pivotal role in detecting the emergence of and managing Covid-19 outbreaks. Validated by two peer-reviewed studies, Kinsa’s forecasting models have been shown to accurately predict influenza 12 to 20 weeks in advance and is a leading indicator of Covid-19 case increases up to three weeks ahead.

“The readings from these smart thermometers will give school districts a leading indicator of illnesses in their community, and statewide it will aid Crush the Curve Idaho in taking a data-driven approach to stopping the spread of Covid-19 by identifying early areas of the state at risk for an outbreak,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.

“We are so thankful to The Rockefeller Foundation for awarding us this grant,” said Tina Upson, executive director of Crush the Curve Idaho. “With everything else going on, it’s easy to overlook the far-reaching implications of school shutdowns, both on the wellbeing of Idaho children and its related effects on the economy. By introducing this technology to schools, we hope to provide them a powerful tool in safely reopening and mitigating the spread of Covid-19.”

Crush the Curve Idaho outlined multiple goals for its smart thermometer program:

  • Identify in real-time which districts, schools and grade levels at a school are experiencing higher levels of illness.
  • Ensure Covid-19 testing is readily available for outbreak areas and outfit communities with any resources needed to slow the spread.
  • Guide parents to the right health services to help them get better faster.
  • Provide data for school officials to utilize while determining the efficacy of school closure interventions.

“Real-time tools, such as Kinsa thermometers and testing, can help Idaho identify new outbreaks, especially in rural districts where cases could be missed,” said Dr. Tommy Ahlquist, volunteer Medical Director and Founding Board Member of Crush the Curve Idaho. “Early detection is paramount in the containment of Covid-19, and the success of Kinsa’s forecasting models have made them a top authority in fever-related illness prevention.”

The grant to Crush the Curve Idaho is part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s $1 billion commitment to global Covid-19 recovery efforts over the next three years. Resources will be deployed to increase access to Covid-19 tests, vaccines, and other science-based tools, to strengthen public health systems to prevent future outbreaks, and to expand access to reliable energy and other social determinants of health.

“This grant from the Rockefeller Foundation is truly a game-changer for us,” Upson said. “They have been a major player in fighting Covid-19, and I can’t say enough about the work they are doing.”


For more information, please visit Crush the Curve Idaho’s website at


About Crush the Curve Idaho

Crush the Curve Idaho is a nonprofit organization founded in April 2020 as a coordinated effort by Idaho businesses, innovators and leaders to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Its mission is to empower Idahoans to help fight and defeat the novel coronavirus, while offering awareness, testing and support to Idaho organizations and citizens – all in an effort to safely reopen Idaho schools, businesses and other organizations affected by the global pandemic.

To learn more about Crush the Curve Idaho, visit

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations.

For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.