As some schools around the country have opened up to some form of in-person learning, and others are planning and preparing to do so, one top-of-mind concern is safety. The ability to ensure that the classroom environment limits the risk of spreading viruses and other germs that can be spread through the air, is an important element in the fight against COVID-19 as well as other airborne illnesses for schools and other organizations.
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
“Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through virus-containing aerosol particles has been established as an important pathway for Covid-19 infection,” according to Aerosol Science and Technology.
Even after concerns specifically related to COVID-19 have subsided, schools should still be taking steps to ensure the healthiest environment possible for students; that includes air quality monitors and purifiers. In addition, California schools have instituted AB-841 which requires schools to have a CO2 monitor in every classroom.
A great way to ensure clean air in school settings, besides installing air monitors, is to provide portable air purifiers. These can be used at each child’s or teacher’s desk to create a personal bubble of clean air that removes bacteria, particulate matter, germs, and viral-carrying respiratory droplets from personal spaces.
That may sound like an expensive proposition for your school, fortunately, there is funding available that schools can apply for to cover or minimize these costs.
Funding Available for Improving Indoor Air Quality in Schools
Schools can take advantage of a number of sources of funding to help them invest in air monitors and portable air purifiers that provide peace of mind and safety for teachers, staff and students. Top funding sources include:
- The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund available through the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and the CARES Act.
- The Education Stabilization Fund (ESF). This is part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) allotted $30.75 billion to the U.S. Department of Education to award grants to States (SEAs), districts (LEAs), and institutions of higher education (IHEs) in response to COVID-19.
- Congress passed a $900 billion COVID relief package that included about $82 billion for education. The December 2020 package, known as the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) provides:
- $54.3 billion for K-12 schools, largely delivered through Title I funding. That’s about four times what schools received in the CARES Act approved in March.
- $22.7 billion for higher education with $1.7 billion set aside for minority-serving institutions and close to $1 billion for for-profit colleges
- $4 billion for governors to spend at their discretion, with $2.7 billion of that for private schools.
- Recently passed, the American Rescue Plan law (also known as ARP) which contains an additional $168 billion in funding for K-12 schools and higher education.
- For CA schools, there is funding available to help satisfy AB-841
- On or before April 1, 2021, the Energy Commission will issue a notice to local educational agencies of the availability of grants under the School Noncompliant Plumbing Fixture and Appliance Program, inviting local educational agencies to submit applications.
With funding readily available school systems can move forward with taking steps to boost confidence in air quality and the classroom environment. Not all air purifiers are equally effective, of course, so it’s important to know what to look for.
What to Look for in an Air Purifier
It’s important that devices be tested to ensure their efficacy in removing the most common pathogen-carrying respiratory droplets. WYND’s smart personal air purifier medical grade filter removes 99.9% of particles over 0.3 microns. Using anti-microbial silver, it destroys the infectious germs it captures, providing personal protection and immune system support.
Wynd Relief for Safely Returning to School
Wynd can help you find a cost-effective air quality solution for your unique needs. Just fill out a brief form, hit “submit,” and receive up to $5000 in free consulting advice from our air quality experts. Be sure to mention that your business is education related and receive a 25% site wide discount!
Wynd has the resources you need to safety welcome students, teachers and staff back to school. Get in touch with Wynd