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Air purifiers earmarked for Richmond classrooms

All classrooms that don't have mechanical ventilation will get a new air purifier.

Portable air purifiers with HEPA filters could be installed in all Richmond classrooms that don’t have mechanical ventilation systems as soon as next week.

The Richmond School District recently spent $339,000 on the air purifiers, buying in bulk with another school district.

In schools without mechanical ventilation systems, the windows were being kept open with the heat cranked up to air out classrooms in order to keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading.

Board chair Sandra Nixon pointed out the colder weather was making it less feasible to keep windows open.

The air filters are low noise to minimize interfering with teaching, and have a “low electricity draw,” Nixon added.

Not only will they be installed in classrooms, they will also be installed in offices and other rooms used for educational purposes.

A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter removes almost 100 per cent of microscopic airborne particles.

The Richmond School District partnered with the Burnaby School District – which also has a lot of classrooms without mechanical ventilation – and they bought them in bulk, bringing down the price, Nixon explained.

The cost of the new air purifiers will be covered by the provincial government.

“The air purifiers will complement the enhanced health and safety measures already in place in our schools and will provide an extra measure of protection for staff and students in classrooms and other spaces without mechanical ventilation,” Nixon said in an email to the Richmond News

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