You can expect cooler and cleaner air in your kids' classrooms thanks to new White House guidelines for improving air quality.
It’s all part of an effort to keep COVID-19 from spreading, although some schools have already been implementing similar changes since the beginning of the pandemic.
It also comes as many mask mandates have been lifted throughout the country.
COVID-19 is still very much top of mind at Vista Del Mar Middle School. The San Ysidro School District still requires students to wear masks while indoors to keep case numbers down. New air quality health guidelines from the White House could help that trend.
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They include recommendations like including portable air cleaners, upgraded heating, venting and air conditioning and installing extra ventilation.
“We are going to be looking at every single classroom to make sure that there is proper ventilation in every classroom. Along with the ventilation we are going to be installing c02 sensors in every classroom,” said Paulo Azevedo, the director of maintenance, operations, transportation and facilities for the SYSD.
The district is already ahead of the curve, according to Azevedo. They’ve spent more than $100,000 changing HVAC and air conditioning filters weekly during the pandemic, for example. Azevedo said the state-funded those improvements, but it’s unclear how schools will pay for the upgrades the Biden administration is recommending.
For now, masks will be required indoors until the district reevaluated its policy after spring break.
Azevedo knows there is plenty of work and change ahead.
"The older schools where we have to start putting brand new HVAC units on the roof. We have units that are 15 to 20 years old. They’re end of life," he said.