Over $1.96 Billion for school facilities still available.
Throughout the pandemic, schools in the USA took a very hard hit. Repeated closures, lost time learning, and COVID outbreaks brought the entire system to its knees. But did it have to? And will it happen again with the next pandemic outbreak?
Scientists who study viral transmission say that if the indoor air on school campuses had been cleaner and safer, closures could have been avoided.
Because the coronavirus is an airborne threat, schools that improved air quality recorded about 40 percent lower incidences of Covid than schools that did not, one study found sponsored by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
That’s great, right? All we need to do is open a few windows, get an over-the-counter air purifier and we’re all good. Remember the Canadian wildfires that closed schools across the Northeast in early June and 120 schools in California last September? And the air in Denver was so thick with wildfire smoke in May that the city was briefly ranked as the second most polluted worldwide.
People who suffer from asthma (which is nearly one in 13 American schoolchildren) can have an attack when exposued to smoke. Because asthma is a chronic illness, it is the leading cause of absenteeism in schools. In addition, schools in lower income neighborhoods contend with dust, carbon monoxide and more coming through open windows. These all can lead to chronic illnesses and more.
Close the windows? Indoor pollutants in schools including mold, dust, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, lead, asbestos, PCBs, pesticides, secondhand smoke, and more are waiting inside!
Well, good news!
Nearly $200 billion, from an array of pandemic-related measures, including the American Rescue Plan Act, and another $350 billion was allotted to state and local governments, some of which can be used to improve ventilation in schools.
“I cannot believe the amount of money that is still unspent,” said Dr. Joseph Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “It’s really frustrating.”
LifeWingsPP specializes in finding resources for schools and providing knowledgeable assessments to aid school boards in reaching the highest level of protection for their students and staff without impacting the district budget. It defeats the invisible enemy and creates free breathing zones in buildings, reducing anxiety and allowing teachers to teach without fear.