New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island have joined New Jersey, Delaware, California, and Connecticut in announcing an end date for mask requirements and other Covid-19 restrictions. Given that coronavirus hasn’t gone away, what can be done to keep schools safe without masks? The answer is simple: Clean the air.
Israel, which has gone through its own multiple waves of the virus and has a well vaccinated population, has mandated that schools have air cleaners. The Israel Ministry of Health certified air cleaning technologies that meet its criteria for safety. After extensive studies, Israel determined that air cleaning with germicidal UV-C light provides the safety needed. Ionizers and other systems that introduce chemicals are not allowed, and HEPA filters alone are not sufficient to achieve MoH certification.
Bluezone UV-C air cleaners are approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education to be highly effective and safe in mitigating Covid-19 transmission in Israeli schools. Bluezone air cleaners are the only U.S. product with approval from both ministries. Bluezone is currently participating in a pilot project where 200 units have been shipped to Israel for virus protection in school classrooms.
Key criteria for selecting air cleaners are efficacy, operational safety, air exchanges per hour, sound level, maintenance, and installation flexibility. For schools, Bluezone offers a new product specifically designed for classrooms that offers three air exchanges per hour and near-silent operation. A visible, illuminated Bluezone logo shines on the front of all air cleaners confirming the indoor air is being continuously and highly effectively cleaned.
In schools, there are many indoor spaces that require highly effective air cleaning to maintain a low airborne viral load. Maintaining a low airborne viral load reduces the chances of transmission from person to person. Spaces with high occupancy and high aerosol generation are the highest risk. High risk spaces in schools are classrooms, cafeterias, music rooms and gymnasiums.
Health experts agree that keeping schools open and removing masks are important for children’s development, but there is no need to ignore safety. Air cleaning provides a necessary layer of safety without compromising social or academic development.