How Are Schools Spending Their COVID Relief Dollars?

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --  Lumin-Air, a company focused on improving indoor air quality, has found parents around the country are asking their school administrators how they are spending their Covid relief funds, (ESSER), totaling approximately $190,000,000,000 for K-12 schools. These funds were earmarked for Covid relief, including solutions and strategies to keep students and staff safe and in class.

Are your school facilities, including your school buses, safer today? Have improvements been made in ventilation and filtration to mitigate the spread of airborne illnesses like Covid-19?

Many were counting on vaccines to return us to life before COVID. Instead, we're seeing mask mandates, spiking COVID cases, record numbers of hospitalized young people, and a recent call for booster shots.

What's gone wrong?

Antibodies diminish over time, and viruses naturally mutate. On August 19th, top U.S. health officials in a joint statement said, "Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead …"

We know the virus is airborne. We know that if we inhale higher concentrations of virus particles, we are more likely to become infected, especially if we do so for extended periods of time. Experts worry about what will happen as weather turns colder and we increase our time inside.

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The good thing is we know how to reduce the concentration of contaminants in the air. ASHRAE and the CDC recommend using outdoor air to dilute contaminants, using filters to remove contaminants and using UVC to inactivate contaminants, especially if dilution and filtration options are limited.

Filtration recommendations include improving filter efficiency to the highest level possible, with MERV-13 or higher as the goal. MERV-13 filters remove greater than 85% of airborne droplet nuclei expelled during a human cough or normal exhalation. The great thing about filtration, is that it's effective no matter what virus or variant of the virus is in the air. Upper-room UVGI has been applied effectively in schools since the 1930's. The units are inexpensive and quiet, and the bulbs can last for five-years in classrooms settings. The CDC has an excellent website on how to apply Upper-Room UVGI.

School buses have long been heralded as the safest way to travel to and from school, and are the only option for some students. Unfortunately, school buses are also the most densely populated part of a school's facilities, with very poor filtration, and inadequate levels of clean, outside air. Masking, social distancing, and opening windows remain incredibly difficult if not impossible to enforce on the school bus, especially for drivers needing to keep their attention on the road.

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There are solutions to improve the air quality on school buses helping to make them safer for students and drivers. Lumin-Air implements filtration and UVGI solutions in everything from classrooms to school buses and metro buses as recommended by the CDC and ASHRAE to improve indoor air quality. A Lumin-Air installation for a school's entire school bus fleet including 12-years of replacement filters and UV bulbs would cost about 1% of a schools ESSER money, cleaning up the most densely populated part of a school's facility with the poorest air quality.

An even less expensive option is now being offered by Lumin-Air. MERV-13 equivalent filter kits that don't impede airflow and last for a year can be easily retrofitted to existing school bus AC units. The kits come with 5-years of filter media.

Reducing the concentration of harmful airborne contaminants in your schools reduces the probability of transmission of COVID, influenza, and future diseases. Please ask your local school system how they are spending their COVID ESSER money to keep students healthy and in school, and don't forget to ask about your school buses. The health, safety and prosperity of your entire community depends on it.

Contact Lumin-Air to learn more about making your school, and school buses safer: [email protected], (866) 586-4619.

SOURCE Lumin-Air

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