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Nixa Public Schools places air purifiers in classrooms to fight COVID-19

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 6:35 AM CDT
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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) - Students in Nixa now have an added layer of protection against COVID-19. In an effort to kill germs and viruses floating in the air, the Nixa Public Schools district has placed new air purifiers in classrooms.

These air purifiers do more than just kill the COVID-19 virus that may be floating around in the air. They also kill bacteria, allergens and deodorize the air. The district has placed one of these devices in select classrooms based on which children are at the highest risk.

“Kids at this age are very social by nature,” said Early Childhood Principal Dr. Lara Wilbur. “We’re a play-based program. Children are often in each other’s spaces, sharing toys, and maybe some germs, so these purifiers will allow us to have an added layer of protection. Our goal is to keep our kids healthy and in school and provide them the best learning environment we can.”

These new machines cost about $800 each, so they are not in every classroom. But there are a few devices in every building.

“We have a lot of protocols that we’re doing throughout the district, but we felt like this was an important one to add to the things we’re already doing,” said Dr. Kevin Kopp, assistant superintendent for Nixa Public Schools. “So as we looked at the entire district, we are trying to find locations throughout the district where these make the most sense so classrooms where maybe there are students that aren’t as distanced or classrooms where maybe there are some medically fragile situations.”

Administrators hope that this will prevent the spread of COVID-19 and cut down on the number of absences due to illness. Each machine has three filter layers that help kill germs in the air.

“There’s a HEPA filter, UVC light bulbs that are in them, and then also a charcoal air filter,” said director of facilities Robert Klug. “EPA air filter catches 99.9% particulates. Then you also have the UVC that kills any bacteria and things that are passing through in front of the bulbs as well. Then you have the charcoal filter that is the deodorizer.”

District leaders say that they plan to use these machines for the next several years.

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