Some health experts worry inadequate systems could help facilitate the spread of COVID-19 when students and staff physically return to schools.
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“Unless the air system is bringing in a lot of fresh, outdoor, clean air, that’s going to just recirculate the germs that are in the air already and that creates a problem for the students that are there,” said Kelli Drenner, clinical assistant professor and program director at the University of Houston.
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“If [there is] COVID-19 in the air, it will just continue to re-circulate and that creates conditions for spreading,” she said. “So, unless those systems can filter that out, then it has the potential to be a spreading event, and that creates problems for kids and staff and teachers.”
According to the CDC’s guidance on re-opening schools, schools should increase air filtration and increase the amount of outdoor air that flows through their HVAC systems.
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“If you have that capability in your system to make sure that fresh air is coming in, then you’re not just recirculating the air that’s already in the room,” Drenner explained.
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