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This is why new hundreds of Tri-City classrooms are getting HEPA air filters now

Some schools will be getting ventilation upgrades while hundreds of classrooms will get HEPA filters to improve ventilation
Classroom Furniture
Some Coquitlam area schools will get ventilation system upgrades after the B.C. government handed out $550,000 in funding.

Hundreds of new HEPA air filtration units are being distributed to classrooms in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Anmore in the coming weeks.

This is because the provincial government has just given School District 43 (SD43) as much as $550,000 for improving ventilation in schools.

The district has identified a number of high-priority classrooms that could benefit from the new systems.

Among them are portables, full-day kindergarten modules, secondary school skill development rooms and rooms identified by the district that could use the additional filtration, including interior classrooms, and music rooms.

Purchasing the new HEPA filtration systems will cost $350,000 with the remaining funds to be used for school ventilation upgrades, with priority schools to be determined.

The additional cash for ventilation comes as the Omicron wave seems to be diminishing but uncertainty remains about future variants of the COVID-19 virus.

According to SD43, transmission in schools is low but classrooms, including portables, will be getting these portable filtration systems to improve air quality.

"As has been reported, the transmission rates in our schools are extremely low," stated SD43 spokesperson Ken Hoff.

"This gives us confidence that the protocols in our schools are effective and working. Ventilation is only one piece of the equation, it is the sum total of everything we are doing which is giving us a positive outcome."

The cash will enable the district to distribute 235 HEPA filtration units to classrooms.

At least 100 have already been installed with the remaining to be distributed in the next two weeks, according to the district.

The district has until November 2022 to spend the remaining $200,000 on more significant upgrades "due to the complexities involved in planning, preparation, and implementation of ventilation upgrades," Hoff further stated in an email.