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Erie County schools to receive air filtration systems

The Erie County Department of Health announced that 16,000 air filtration units have been ordered for every public and charter school in Erie County.
Credit: WGRZ

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Schools around Erie County will soon be breathing a little better. 

The Erie County Department of Health announced that 16,000 air filtration units have been ordered for every public and charter school in Erie County.

The county worked with school districts and non-public schools to implement the project. All other schools received their filter systems in May. Non-public schools will receive theirs this summer. 

The filter systems, which cost about $500 each, are being provided by Austin Air Systems of Buffalo and will be delivered to the schools. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic burdened schools and families with incredible challenges and concerns over health and safety," said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. "The path of this pandemic and our response to it have shifted. Equipping our schools with Austin Air Healthmate Air Purifiers will help create a healthier school environment for k-12 students. This investment is a critical component of my back-on-track agenda to help our children recover from the damage caused by the pandemic."

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"Maintaining improved ventilation in public indoor spaces is a core recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no matter what level of COVID-19 transmission a community is experiencing," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. "Staying home when ill, seeking testing as appropriate, wearing a mask as recommended, and getting vaccinated and boosted are other key parts of a comprehensive strategy to keep children and school staff healthy, and learning at school. This initiative will help keep the approximate 130,000 k-12 students and school staff in Erie County healthy by reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne contagions."

"The Buffalo Public Schools are elated to be included in Erie County Executive Poloncarz’s initiative to place an air purifier machine in every classroom within Erie County,” said Buffalo City School District Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams. “Air purifier machines increase ventilation and add better filtration. These particular air purifiers are high quality and have a charcoal filter that will remove toxic gases like a car exhaust or bus fumes that may enter a building during arrival and dismissal." 

She continued, "The second stage of the filter unit contains a HEPA filter, which removes up to 99% of all pollen, bacteria, and viruses in the air. Ultimately, these air purifier machines will have a positive effect in ensuring proper air treatment of all occupied classrooms and will help our children breath in clean air. The safety of our entire school community is our top priority!"

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So far, $5.3 million federal funding has been invested in this project thanks to a grant that was to be used towards COVID-19 mitigation measures. 

Here is the complete list of schools in Erie County that received the filter systems and how many each district received. 

  • Akron CSD - 112
  • Alden CSD - 132
  • Amherst CSD - 244
  • Buffalo City Schools - 2,557
  • Cheektowaga CSD - 179
  • Cheektowaga-Maryvale UFSD - 265
  • Cheektowaga-Sloan UFSD - 152
  • Clarence CSD - 353
  • Cleveland Hill UFSD - 118
  • Depew UFSD - 149
  • East Aurora UFSD - 147
  • Eden CSD - 134
  • Evans-Brant CSD - 220
  • Frontier CSD - 385
  • Grand Island CSD - 260
  • Hamburg CSD - 277
  • Holland CSD - 86
  • Iroquois CSD - 202
  • Kenmore-Tonawanda UFSD - 600
  • Lackawanna City Schools - 162
  • Lancaster CSD - 510
  • North Collins CSD - 56
  • Orchard Park CSD - 488
  • Springville-Griffith Inst CSD - 138
  • Sweet Home CSD - 272
  • Tonawanda City School District - 145
  • West Seneca CSD - 540
  • Williamsville CSD - 827
  • Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School - 94
  • Buffalo Collegiate Charter School - 25
  • Buffalo United Charter School - 50
  • Charter School of Inquiry - 27
  • Charter School - Applied Technologies - 197
  • Elmwood Village Charter School Days Park - 38
  • Elmwood Village Charter School Hertel - 21
  • Enterprise Charter School - 10
  • Global Concepts Charter School - 80
  • Health Sciences Charter School - 15
  • Persistence Prep - 15
  • South Buffalo Charter School - 52
  • Tapestry Charter School - 102
  • West Buffalo Charter School - 43
  • Western NY Maritime Charter School - 48
  • Westminster Community Charter School - 46

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