Making Schools Healthier and Safer Using COVID-19 Relief Funds

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October 6, 2021

As many students, teachers, and administrators return to in-person learning this fall, there are mixed feelings about health and safety. School districts have come under heat time and time again for building issues, particularly in underfunded communities. For instance, a 2020 report from the United States Government Accountability Office found that “one-third of public schools were estimated to have inadequate heat, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.” Since COVID-19 spreads most rapidly in poorly ventilated areas, there is urgency amongst school leaders to improve indoor air quality and, therefore, reduce the spread of lingering airborne viruses. 

Improving ventilation not only contributes to a healthier learning environment but one where staff and teachers feel comfortable to perform their best. This starts with understanding the current state of indoor air quality. Installing air quality sensors like Awair Omni in learning areas in schools allows for ongoing data collection so necessary changes can be made more quickly. For schools, real-time readings allow changes to be made swiftly in the affected rooms. Similarly, school board members and facility managers can use the data to identify trends and target buildings that require broader intervention plans or larger scale corrective work.

Schools and communities are encouraged to make indoor air quality improvements to prevent the spread of diseases with the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds for COVID-19. By making an investment now, your district can address immediate ventilation needs and support the school’s infrastructure for the next 20 years. With $122 billion set aside for indoor air quality improvements, there has never been a better time for public schools to submit plans. The available funds can make a big difference for facilities programs that have been neglected. More than that, the funding is flexible because indoor air quality priorities differ depending on the location. All 50 states can invest in what meets their school’s unique needs and goals. 

To start monitoring the indoor air quality in your K-12 schools, contact our Sales team today. They can work to understand your specific needs and recommend a customized plan.