Valencia approves emergency supply of 8,000 air purifiers for schools

The devices,costing 7,6 million euros, will be installed to guarantee the safety of students, teachers and workers.

Friday 5th February 2021 | MIKE SMITH

The regional government has agreed to the emergency supply of 8,000 air purifiers for educational centres in the Comunidad Valenciana as a prevention and hygiene measure against COVID-19.

These devices, with a total investment of 7,598,800 euros (including IVA), will be installed to ensure that face-to-face educational activity can be carried out safely, both for students and for teachers as well as other employees.

Most educational spaces are naturally ventilated, but in specific cases where there are natural ventilation difficulties, these types of air purification devices are used. They will help to guarantee adequate ventilation of the classrooms of the educational centres of the Comunidad Valenciana, which has been revealed as an effective measure against the pandemic.

This type of device has been considered in the guide for classroom ventilation drawn up by the Generalitat Valenciana together with experts and researchers from the IDAEA-CSIC Environmental Diagnosis Institute and technicians from the MESURA Association.

The guide explains how classrooms should be ventilated to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection by air and provides guidelines for proper ventilation according to the volume to be ventilated, the number and age of occupants and the activity carried out.

At the same time, it presents solutions and examples of different situations in schools and offers tools to determine if ventilation is adequate and the systems to achieve it.

The guide recommends, in cold periods, to have comfortable warm clothing, as well as to follow its instructions to balance adequate ventilation with a comfortable temperature in the classrooms. In addition, the guide indicates that, if natural ventilation is not feasible due to adverse weather conditions, solutions can be implemented through air purification.

Efficient filtering

The ventilation of the classrooms is already carried out in accordance with what determines the protection and prevention protocol against the transmission and contagion of SARS-CoV-2 for educational centers that impart non-university education in the 2020-2021 academic year, maintaining the permanently ventilated classrooms.

However, for the coldest days of winter and when it is not possible to ventilate by natural means, it is necessary to establish mechanical air purification and filtering systems that, in conjunction with other prevention measures, allow the development of face-to-face teaching activity.

For this reason, the regional government has approved the supply of 8,000 purifiers equipped with HEPA H13 filters to educational centres supported by public funds of the Comunidad Valenciana, the devices being suitable for those classrooms that have had to be enabled and that do not have enough natural ventilation.

The devices work by circulating the air in the room through filters made of highly efficient fibres that retain viruses, bacteria and other suspended particles such as dust and pollen. As they guarantee an efficient filtering of the classroom air during the approximate period of one class, they can be used alternatively by two classrooms, thereby guaranteeing the filtering of both.

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