Cape Breton Schools Acquire Portable Air Filtration Systems As Part Of Provincial Strategy

SYDNEY, NS – About a tenth of the province’s schools benefiting from rapid ventilation upgrades are on Cape Breton Island.

The seven schools are all part of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Center for Education family of schools and have full or partial passive ventilation systems.

Passive ventilation occurs when windows and doors are used for air circulation while active ventilation is mechanical.

Of 370 schools in the province, 71 are receiving portable HEPA air filtration systems and delivery is scheduled this week before in-person classes start on Monday.

An email request for an interview with a person from the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Learning was not provided. However, in a written response to questions sent by email, a spokesperson confirmed that the units were Aerus Active Pure’s Beyond Guardian Air Purifier.

Aerus Sydney owner Ken MacDonald said even before the COVID-19 pandemic he was recommending these units to local schools and the Cape Breton Education Center because they are the best available.

“You can’t keep them in stock in the US. All the schools out there use them,” said MacDonald, who has been in the industry for more than 20 years.

“They are used in hospitals and doctors’ offices. We have a lot of clients who are doctors.”

In addition to cleaning the air of particles smaller than the eye can see, MacDonald said Active Pure technology includes a hydroxyl blaster, which penetrates the SARS-CoV-2 virus and significantly reduces the virus suspended in the air. ‘air.

According to the website Active Pure, tests were done on the new live strain of coronavirus and determined that it reduced SARS-CoV-2 in the air by 99% in three minutes.

Cape Breton Schools

The Department of Education has confirmed that all schools in Nova Scotia with passive ventilation systems, that is, those using windows and doors for air circulation, are getting HEPA systems. portable.

Within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Education Center, there are five schools with passive ventilation systems: CBVRCE Adult School, Marion Bridge Elementary, Middle River Elementary, Sydney Mines Middle School and Tompkins Elementary.

In addition to these five schools, Coxheath Primary School and Sydney River Primary School are equipped with air filtration systems.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Education Center was unable to respond to an interview request but provided a written statement.

“Although Sydney River and Coxheath Elementary Schools have active ventilation systems, part of each school has a passive ventilation system. As part of this investment, affected rooms in these schools will be equipped with HEPA systems. “, did he declare.

“HEPA filtration systems will be installed in every room without active ventilation and in which people meet.”

The Education Ministry said the majority of the necessary units have been received and will be in schools before students return to classes in person.

No Cape Breton school within the Strait Regional Center for Education family of schools needs modernization. The only school in the district with passive ventilation requiring HEPA filtration systems is HM MacDonald Elementary School in Maryvale, Antigonish County.

The retail price of the unit may fluctuate based on the needs of the customer and the retailer, but an online search has found units on Amazon for over $ 4,000, while some informational booklets have it. under $ 3,000.

Not purchased locally

While MacDonald is “ecstatic” to hear that the Department of Education is putting the system in schools and that they have chosen the Aerus product, he is a little disappointed that the Halifax outlet was awarded the contract. full.

There are three Aerus locations in Nova Scotia: Halifax, Yarmouth and Sydney.

“As a small business, during a pandemic, it would have been nice to see part of that contract,” MacDonald said.

“I would have loved to see it all over the province, but again I’m happy that they are bringing Beyond products to schools because they are the best. I hope we can recover some residual business in servicing (these) or other orders. “

The Cape Breton Post’s question as to why the contract was not distributed province-wide was not addressed in the statement emailed by the Department of Education.

Nicole Sullivan is an immigration / diversity and education reporter for the Cape Breton Post.

Comments are closed.