Improved Ventilation Protects Students from COVID-19, Research Shows
June 7, 2021
For decades, maintenance and engineering managers in the nation’s K-12 school districts have struggled with mountains of deferred maintenance plaguing their facilities. As roofs leaked, paint peeled, and HVAC systems faltered, managers made do with less and less. On the rare occasions that taxpayers approved bond issues to pay for school repairs and upgrades, the funds often were much too little, much too late.
Now, as Congress debates the size and scope of President Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill, research demonstrates the tangible benefits of finally putting substantial funds into K-12 facilities, especially HVAC system upgrades.
According to researchers with the Brooking Institute, there is evidence that school ventilation protects children from contracting COVID-19 and other viruses in schools. The research suggests that COVID-19 spreads in schools in situations where there are high case rates in the surrounding community, and children can still catch COVID-19 in school buildings that are not properly ventilated.
“The evidence suggests that upgrading school buildings would be both a timely and wise investment that is likely to pay dividends for years to come,” researchers wrote.
Dan Hounsell is Senior Editor, Facility Market.