(Article from the Citizen’s Voice – 12/16/20) The air inside Luzerne County Head Start facilities is now cleaner after the organization invested in high-end air purifiers designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.
Head Start used federal pandemic relief grants to purchase 77 EnviroKlenz Air System Plus machines for its 26 facilities in Luzerne and Wyoming counties.
“Not all of our classrooms and offices have windows,” said Dawn Smith, director of operations for the local Head Start and chief of its COVID-19 reopening task force.
Children who attend Head Start are currently getting their instruction remotely, but staff members are reporting to the office.
While the organization has followed social distancing and cleaning guidelines, the air purifiers are an added level of protection, Smith said.
“I can’t say I noticed a big difference, but it makes us feel more confident and comfortable,” Smith said.
The devices, which cost $799 each, use advanced technology to capture and destroy airborne particulates, allergens, bacteria, and viruses. After the particles are trapped, an ultraviolet light kills them, according to the manufacturer Timilon Technology.
Smith said she did a lot of research about air quality since the pandemic struck. Since Head Start only owns two of the 26 facilities it operates, leaders figured the portable devices would be of good use.
“We purchased them to help with COVID when the children and families do come back to make them feel comfortable and safe,” Smith said. “But there’s always flu, there’s always other types of viruses happening. It’s just to have better air quality. It’s an investment now but it’s going to continue to be used forever.”