PLEASANTON, Calif. (KRON) – To fight the spread of COVID-19 while safely reopening classrooms, air purifiers are getting installed at local schools.
The Pleasanton Unified School District has had hundreds of them placed in buildings across the district.
The air systems are designed to help kill harmful pathogens such as COVID-19.
They’re being looked at as COVID-killing air purifiers. With students returning to confined spaces such as classrooms this year, these air systems are being used to improve air quality and cut down on airborne pathogens like COVID or the flu.
As schools have been trying to navigate how to educate kids while getting through this pandemic, the idea of clean air indoors has become more important than ever.
Portable air purifiers are making their way into classrooms across the Bay Area.
Pleasanton Unified is aiming to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in its 15 schools by using these systems to clean the air inside the buildings.
“I think early on in the pandemic we took for granted that it was an airborne worry,” George Negron said.
George Negron is VP of Operations with Timilon Corporation and a schools’ air purification specialist.
The company under the brand “Enviroklenz” has delivered 800 of these air systems to Pleasanton schools.
Through high-efficiency particulate air or “HEPA” filters, the purifiers work to improve the air quality of a room by removing particles such as allergens and contaminants.
The air is then exposed to UV light which further breaks down any viruses or bacteria.
Negron admits the air purifiers are not 100% protective against COVID-19 or similar viruses but they can dramatically reduce the risk of transmission.
“It’s not going to stop someone per se from getting COVID if someone comes in the room with it but the ability for it to spread can be minimized greatly by being able to exchange clean air in the room,” Negron said.
Health experts say children remain at very low risk for severe infections of COVID-19 but any additional layer of protection is worth it.
“Each thing adds something and lessens the risk. So I think air purifiers are a good idea in addition to everything else people are doing,” Dr. Aruna Subramanian, Stanford University Infectious Disease Specialist, said.
Pleasanton schools roughly 15,000 students returned to the classroom on Wednesday.
“Every classroom is equipped with them. Students are safer with the reduced risk of transmission or exposure. It’s just a really good win for the students and parents of that district,” Negron said.
The Enviroklenz Air Purification that Pleasanton schools will be using has also been implemented at public schools in Washington and Chicago.