Created: August 24, 2020 06:39 AM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The safety of the air inside classrooms is bringing up new concerns.
Last week, News10NBC reported schools are not required to install new HVAC air systems in order to reopen.
However, as of Monday morning, doctors are saying there is increasing evidence suggesting COVID-19 spreads significantly through the air, further than previously believed.
It is called "aerosol spread." When you talk, cough, breathe or sneeze a stream of two types of droplets is sent through the air.
Respiratory droplets fall quickly to the ground, within 6 feet. However, aerosol particles are smaller and lighter, can linger in the air for hours and travel even longer distances.
“The virus particle concentrations can build up and infect somebody beyond that magical six-foot ring we've been talking about for the past couple months,” Harvard School of Public Health Dr. Joseph Allen said.
So how do you know if your child's school has proper ventilation?
“We should ask if they're going above these minimum standards,” Allen said. “Are they using better filters? You should be looking for a MERV-13 filter, MERV or higher."
In New York, ventilation isn't ignored in the state requirements, everything still has to be up to code.
Additionally, districts are pushed to improve the air quality however they can, including installing higher efficiency filters if they’re compatible with their current systems.
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