School board to use stimulus funds to purchase air purification systems

As the Russell County School District prepares to welcome students back to the classroom next week, the board of education held a special-called meeting on Wednesday to approve the purchase of 350 Novaerus US Protect 900W devices.

These devices are high-strength air purifiers that can essentially eliminate harmful particles in the air that can lead to COVID-19, flu, and other viruses, along with eliminating particles that trigger asthma issues and other health concerns.

The board voted to purchase 350 of the devices, which comes at a steep price tag of around $820,000. The funds used to purchase the devices comes from federal stimulus money provided to the school district.

Dr. Rick Miles, a longtime physician in the community and the Chief Medical Officer at Russell County Hospital, said he spoke with Ford and did some research on the devices and said he believes they’ll be a great benefit for the school system.

“These devices with the nanotechnology, which basically means really small, and it’s like a bug zapper,” Miles said. “They use heat and it’s like a lightning strike to kill the bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. These will reduce illness from allergies, infections, COVID, and I think looking at the technology, it’s going to be a good thing.”

Miles said studies have shown these devices can reduce illness by 60-85 percent.

The devices will be mounted on walls in classrooms, cafeterias, lobbies, and other places where people would generally congregate in the schools. They would not work effectively in gymnasiums, however.

Pictured is one of the devices that the school district approved to purchase.
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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.