The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a lot of changes over the last year as we have learned more about the virus and developed and distributed vaccines across the country. This pandemic has raised more questions and considerations about healthy ventilation in environments such as schools and workplaces.
Now agencies such as the CDC and EPA are suggesting new guidelines for how to provide schools with proper ventilation. Let’s take a look at these guidelines and how funding can be provided.
Using outdoor air to help with ventilation
Larger buildings such as schools rely on HVAC units to bring fresh air from outside, however this practice has changed to save energy costs. Given the situation with COVID-19, however, it is encouraged to use these units again to circulate outdoor air into the school. This website contains a nice guide for specific classrooms and spaces within your school.
Consider filter efficiency
Filters are more important now than ever to provide your classrooms with the cleanest air you can get. The best filters for SARS-CoV-2 are ones with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 or higher. If your HVAC unit doesn’t allow a MERV rating of 13, simply go for the highest filter you can use. It’s also suggested that you maintain and check on your filters often.
Funding for better ventilation
As for how states are supporting their schools, it depends on the state. In Pennsylvania, schools have received relief packages from President Joe Biden and Gov. Tom Wolf. Though this funding could be allocated for additional support, it could still have been used to provide the school with the best environment to safely allow students to learn in the classroom.