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Springfield district looks to air purifiers to fight COVID-19

The school board is expected to approve a $250,000 purchase of 500 air purifiers to be installed in buildings at all of its campuses.

Posted: Aug 10, 2020 5:06 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2020 7:21 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Springfield Public Schools is taking air conditioning to a whole new level as a way to get buildings ready for in-person classes.

The school board is expected to approve a $250,000 purchase of 500 air purifiers to be installed in buildings at all of its campuses.

These air purifiers will add a special ion in the air that the manufacturer claims kills the coronavirus. According to I-Wave’s website, the air purifiers have a success rate of 99.4% of killing the virus within 30 minutes.

Terry Rutledge, director of facilities and operations for the district, said he has been looking into buying air purifiers since March.

“It’s all about safety,” Rutledge said. “We want our students to come back. We think it’s important, the social aspects of it, the learning enviroment, but we need to do it safely. We don’t want to see anybody getting sick.”

Rutledge said the first shipment is planned to arrive in Springfield by the end of the week. The installation will begin at elementary schools. This is because a district officials say students in kindergarten through third grade meet current state and county guidelines to return to the classroom. Rutledge, a parent himself, said he is comfortable sending his children back to school with this new tool.

“We put a lot of hours to get this blueprint together,” Rutledge said. “As I turned it in, I said I’m so confident there’s no reason why, other than state guidelines, to not have students and staff back in our buildings.”

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