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How safe is the air in your child’s classroom?

COVID-19

Protecting our youngsters in school is a top priority. Today, we have more on an improvement that’s simple, small and could play a key role.

“There are two types of droplets that can affect people,” said Dr. Fariha Saleem.

Those two droplets are respiratory and aerosol. Before, doctors found that COVID-19 can spread through respiratory droplets, but now they are finding that it can also spread by aerosol drops.

“When somebody coughs or sneezes, or is in contact, you blow out those respiratory droplets and because your so heavy gravity comes into play and they fall to the ground or fall to a surface,” said Dr. Saleem. “The aerosol droplets, because they are so small they can overcome gravity. They aren’t heavy enough to fall to the ground or fall on a surface so they can linger in the air longer.”

So what can help reduce that aerosol spread? Proper air ventilation systems. According to the Government Accountability Office, 1 out of 3 schools in the U.S. needs improvements to their air systems in order to provide that. One of the major improvements is the type of air filters used.

“If your filter is not filtering what it needs to filter, any particles that aren’t broken down will be passed through the ductwork because the filter is picking it up,” said Michael Tobin, owner of Northern Integrity Heating and Air Conditioning.

Filters are rated on how well they filter small particles to big particles. We checked with Minot Public Schools to see what’s used in the buildings.

“I believe we use Merv 8’s, and that’s typical and standard for this industry,” said Jared Edwards, facilities manager at Minot Public Schools.

Although the typical filter size is 6 or an 8, the CDC recommends Merv 13 filters. The more you increase your filter, the more likely it is to catch a virus.

The CDC recommends not only wearing masks inside, but outside as well.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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