WS/FC Schools installing new air filtration systems to make classes safer for students and teachers

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — District leaders in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are focusing their efforts on cleaning the air. More than half the schools have a new air filtration system.

Crews have been busy installing small bipolar ionization boxes to produce better air quality in classrooms.

The devices produce positive and negative ions that attach to and deactivate harmful substances like airborne viruses.

“That’s kind of the hard part. It’s kind of behind the wall. You don’t see it, you don’t feel it, you just trust it is working,” said Darrell Walker, the district’s assistant superintendent of operations.

The goal is to attach the ionization boxes to HVAC units that feed into classrooms, offices, and large group spaces.

As of Wednesday, they school district had completed 2,500 installs in 45 schools.

School leaders hope the air system upgrades help clear a path to a future of COVID-19-safe schools.

“Can we trust the science? And in this case, I feel really comfortable looking at the data that I’ve looked at again not just for bipolar around COVID, but also around other sicknesses, around the flu and stomach viruses and things of that nature,” Walker said.

Walker says they plan to have the technology installed in all elementary schools by the end of the month. They hope to finish the middle schools and high schools by early spring.

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