WS/FCS installing new virus-fighting air filtration system

WS/FCS installing new virus-fighting air filtration system
January 27
13:47 2021

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) is in the process of installing a new cleaning and filtration system known as Bipolar Ionization at every school in the district.   

According to district leaders, the process will provide continuous disinfection. The bipolar ionization process produces positive and negative ions that render any virus inactive. For the process to work, small ionization boxes have been integrated into HVAC systems across the district. Air is drawn into the ionization boxes and moved through a filter before being sent back out as clean air. 

WS/FCS is the first district in the state to implement the new air filtration system. 

Darrell Walker, WS/FCS assistant superintendent of operations, said other districts across the state have reached out with questions about the process. He said the filtration system will help fight the spread of COVID-19, as well as other viruses like strains of the flu and the common cold. 

“We’ve actually been looking for some processes that we can put in place to make our buildings healthier for some time, not just COVID-19, because we have flu season and allergies and all these things that come along that can create absenteeism with our staff and students,” Walker continued. “A former employee brought this to our attention so we started doing our research and we felt like it was a good way to lead into some support for our classrooms.” 

Ionization boxes have been installed in every elementary school in the district and installation will begin in middle and high schools sometime this week. Boxes have been installed in COVID isolation rooms at every school.

The district used funding from its capital project ordinance and Federal CARES funds to complete the project. The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners provided an additional $500,000 to complete the installation process. 

“I’m really proud of the commitment of those who helped fund this project,” Walker said. 

“That’s what made this work. We had support from our board, we’ve had support from our county commissioners and then we’ve utilized some CARES dollars. So we’ve had kind of three different entities feed into this opportunity, so I’m proud of the fact that we had the support to do this.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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