Kyrene School District installing air filters in classrooms as district prepares to resume in-person classes

With in-person learning now allowed to start up again for many Arizona schools, One elementary and middle school district in the East Valley is working to provide an extra layer of protection.

Kyrene School District operates schools in Ahwatukee and parts of Chandler and Tempe. School district officials say they have actually had HEPA air filtration systems on their radar even before the COVID-19 pandemic, as they were looking at ways to deal with possible freeway pollution. Now, district officials say they will install them in all classrooms, as a measure to protect students and staff from the coronavirus.

“If we want to continue educating students, we need to do so in the safest way possible,” said Erin Helm, Director of Communications and Marketing at Kyrene School District.

School District officials say the filters capable of capturing COVID-19 particles and filtering them out, and they cover an entire classroom.

“These HEPA filters could do anything below 0.3 microns. The COVID particle is 0.125,” said Helm.

The new additions to classrooms have been made possible by the school district’s governing board, and they will be covered by allocating bond funds. The total investment will be nearly $450,000.

With in-person learning starting up again, school district officials say it will provide another layer of protection for students and staff.

“It keeps our teachers safer. It gives our families more confidence about sending students back to school,” said Helm.

The filters will be installed prior to the start of in-person classes on September 17.

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