“When RAND Inc. researchers last spring presented parents with a list of 13 items that would make them feel safe about in-person schooling this fall, parents’ top priority wasn’t teacher or student vaccines, social distancing or regular COVID testing.
It was ventilation.
Perhaps that’s because COVID-19 has made our most basic act — breathing — newsworthy.
The dilemma is resonating beyond parents: Last fall, the non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), filed a complaint with the New York State Labor Department on behalf of 44 employees in nine public school campuses across New York City, saying most school buildings were improperly ventilated. It also said the city’s “minimalistic” ventilation standards don’t prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. The group wants inspectors to determine whether schools are ventilated and filtrated to adequately protect teachers, students, and staff.”