Ontario Further Improving School VentilationPublished on August 04, 2021
Premier Ford, Minister Lecce, and MPP Christine Elliott have delivered over $550 million to support system-wide improvements in ventilation and air quality.
Aligned with the advice of Sick Kids and CHEO, the government is taking further action to optimize air quality in our schools. That includes:
- Deploying an additional 20,000 HEPA units into learning spaces;
- Robust requirements to inspect, maintain & improve mechanical ventilation systems;
- A public ventilation reporting tool that will enable parents to see the scope of improvement at every school in Ontario.
As a result of this investment and focus on improving air quality, and commitment to follow the best advice of pediatric experts, to date in schools with mechanical ventilation:
- 99% of the systems have been assessed and/or recommissioned to optimize air flow
- 92% of the filters are being changed more frequently and/or using higher grade air filters, including MERV-13 rated air filters
- 91% are running systems longer
- 87% have increased fresh air intake
- Over 50,000 standalone HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices purchased
This new investment of up to $25M in additional funding will help ensure that classrooms in schools with partial or no mechanical ventilation will have HEPA filter units in place at the beginning of September. The purchase of the 20,000 HEPA filter units brings to a total of over 70,000 ventilation devices that will be deployed to ensure schools remain as safe as ever.
With today’s announcement, the government has announced more than $600 million in incremental new funding to optimize air quality in schools across Ontario.
Ontario will also provide school boards with a standardized reporting tool on ventilation improvements. This tool will communicate school-level ventilation measures online to ensure that information is publicly available across the province.
With the support of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, we know that ventilation improvements are one more way we are continuing to ensure students return to well-prepared classrooms this fall so that when they return to class, they remain in-class all year.