Good Morning ESP Leaders,
Schools face complicated challenges to ensure the safe and equitable return to in-person instruction—and to avoid the resurgence of conditions that require students and educators to return to remote learning. The air quality in school buildings is central to these goals. NEA has produced two new documents to help affiliates adopt indoor air quality strategies to mitigate COVID-19. The first—Designing and Implementing a COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Plan in Schools—provides detailed information on how and why to develop a pandemic-related indoor air quality plan. It suggests language that can be used in collective bargaining and other labor-management settings and provides authoritative citations and additional resources. The second—The NEA Quick Guide to Indoor Air Quality Strategies to Mitigate COVID-19—is a condensed version of the longer document designed to give Association leaders, UniServ directors, and members an easy-to-use summary of the issues, sources, language, and resources related to indoor air quality and COVID-19.
In preparing these documents, we chose to focus on ventilation in the context of the pandemic. As a result, they identify common-sense steps that can be taken to mitigate the airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus. Many of the recommendations included require action but no additional funding, while others require funding far short of what an HVAC system installation or upgrade is likely to cost. While major HVAC work may certainly be necessary, students and educators cannot wait for such changes and budgets may not easily permit them. In addition, schools may rely at least in part on methods of addressing IAQ that do not involve HVAC systems.
Lisa Connor | ESP Quality
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