How One School System is Managing Their Reopening Strategy
In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, school districts across the country have been trying to determine the best way to reopen (and stay open) safely for students, teachers, and staff. While there has not been a standard playbook that each community can follow, each state has created its own criteria to be adopted and customized by each school district to best fit their physical spaces’ needs in each school building. Many of these reopening strategies include mask-wearing, enhanced cleaning protocols, and enforcing social distancing.
The North Andover Public Schools (NAPS) in North Andover, Massachusetts, created a comprehensive reopening strategy that includes all the essentials of creating a safe environment, including social distancing, screening, mask requirements, proactive community communication, and hand washing. In addition to opening doors and windows to improve ventilation, plus placing tents outside the schools for band and chorus, the school system also looked into how to make the air cleaner, researching portable air purifiers to support the CDC guidelines of adding extra layers of precaution.
NAPS extensively researched air purifiers available on the market before learning of a local technology company called Celios, which had recently launched an air purification innovation. The Celios G200 Advanced Air Purifier is up to 3,000 times more efficient than HEPA standards and captures particles up to 30 times smaller. It is also effective at capturing the SARS-CoV-2 virus (1). Beyond the company’s local roots in Wakefield, MA, Celios’ CEO has personal ties to North Andover as he is a town resident with two children in the school system.
Once they concluded their research, North Andover Public Schools chose to order and deploy 100 Celios G200 Advanced Air Purifiers because they firmly believe it is the best option available. Their focus for the units is in smaller, interior spaces that do not have the ability to open windows. Now the units, along with other precautions, have become critical to their efforts to help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kathleen Pease, RN and School Nurse for North Andover Middle School, explains why the G200 provides another mitigation measure in helping to manage the COVID-19 pandemic so that staff and students can return to the classroom:
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