It’s only August, and yet stores are starting to ramp up their stock for back-to-school shopping. With our youth headed back to in-class teachings, after spending much of the pandemic learning from a virtual setting, building experts and politicians in Ontario are looking to the ventilation systems installed in these institutions.
The Ontario Ministry of Education announced the Ontario government’s plan to have children back in school safety. In the 26-page document, it outlines the steps that need to be taken. One major highlight was improving indoor air quality through the ventilation systems. As such, the government will be allocating $25 million in funding.
“We are following the best expert advice by ensuring all schools have improved air ventilation to help ensure schools remain as safe as possible,” said Stephen Lecce, education minister of Ontario. Schools with full mechanical ventilation systems are expected to have all ventilation equipment inspected before the start of the school year and will also be required to frequent filter changes throughout the year. High-grade filters will be required and calibrated for maximum fresh air intake.
In addition, HVAC systems are expected to start running two hours before the school day. Any school that does not require the use of full mechanical ventilation will be expected to use standalone high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) air filter units.
The additional $25 million funding is expected to see the province deploy around 70,000 ventilation devices, including 20,000 standalone HEPA filters. Any leftover funding will be put towards additional HEPA filters when necessary.