The Guilford County Division of Public Health is making a large purchase that should help provide better air in specific sections of school buildings across the county.

The plan calls for the purchase of more than 250 Fellowes Air Purifiers and an estimated year’s supply of air filters.

As Guilford County government often does with its large purchases, it will attach to a State of North Carolina contract, which will provide a discount due to the larger number of purifiers purchased.

The county is buying the devices from Forms and Supply Inc. at a cost of just over $712,000.

Every Guilford County school will receive a small purifier for the school’s health services room as well as a larger unit for the main office areas.

According to information provided to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the purifiers have low noise levels. However, despite that, they won’t be placed in classrooms.  They are being kept out of classrooms in order to “avoid disturbance of the educational process.”

The county’s Division of Public Health received $9.6 million in funding in the current fiscal year from the North Carolina Division of Child and Family Well-Being “to support safe, in-person instruction in kindergarten through grade 12.”  One of the allowable uses of that funding is for “portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems” or other items that provide cleaner air and provide improved air circulation.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Guilford County government and Guilford County Schools have spent a tremendous amount of money on systems and procedures meant to promote better air quality in school buildings and reduce the chance of transmission of airborne diseases.