ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH FUNDS AIR FILTRATION EQUIPMENT FOR K-12 SCHOOLS IN ERIE COUNTY

Modified: June 1, 2022 9:56am

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06/01/2022

ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH FUNDS AIR FILTRATION EQUIPMENT FOR K-12 SCHOOLS IN ERIE COUNTY

Locally produced units from Austin Air Systems will improve air quality, reduce disease transmission risk for students and school staff

ERIE COUNTY, NY—The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) has announced that about 10,600 air filtration units have been ordered for every k-12 public and charter classroom in Erie County. Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein joined Buffalo City School District General Counsel Nathaniel J. Kuzma and Austin Air Systems President Lauren McMillan as Buffalo Public Schools received its shipment of air filter units on Wednesday, June 1.

The Office of the County Executive and ECDOH worked closely with school leaders in public and non-public schools throughout Erie County to plan and implement this project. With assistance from the Erie County Department of Public Works, ECDOH collaborated with Austin Air Systems of Buffalo to coordinate the production and delivery of air filtration units for every k-12 classroom in Erie County.

“The COVID-19 pandemic burdened schools and families with incredible challenges and concerns over health and safety,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “The path of this pandemic and our response to it have shifted. Equipping our schools with Austin Air Healthmate Air Purifiers will help create a healthier school environment for k-12 students. This investment is a critical component of my back-on-track agenda to help our children recover from the damage caused by the pandemic.”

“Maintaining improved ventilation in public indoor spaces is a core recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no matter what level of COVID-19 transmission a community is experiencing,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “Staying home when ill, seeking testing as appropriate, wearing a mask as recommended, and getting vaccinated and boosted are other key parts of a comprehensive strategy to keep children and school staff healthy, and learning at school. This initiative will help keep the approximate 130,000 k-12 students and school staff in Erie County healthy by reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne contagions.”

“The Buffalo Public Schools are elated to be included in Erie County Executive Poloncarz’s initiative to place an air purifier machine in every classroom within Erie County,” said Buffalo City School District Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams. “Air purifier machines increase ventilation and add better filtration.  These particular air purifiers are high quality and have a charcoal filter that will remove toxic gases like a car exhaust or bus fumes that may enter a building during arrival and dismissal.” She continued, “The second stage of the filter unit contains a HEPA filter, which removes up to 99% of all pollen, bacteria, and viruses in the air. Ultimately, these air purifier machines will have a positive effect in ensuring proper air treatment of all occupied classrooms and will help our children breath in clean air.  The safety of our entire school community is our top priority!”  

To date, Erie County has invested just under $5.3 million in federal funding for this project, from a grant directed towards COVID-19 mitigation measures within k-12 schools. Each unit cost $500. In addition to BPS, all other school districts and charter schools received their units in May. ECDOH expects air filtration systems to be delivered to private schools during the summer.

School District

Units Distributed

Akron CSD

112

Alden CSD

132

Amherst CSD

244

Buffalo City Schools

2,557

Cheektowaga CSD

179

Cheektowaga-Maryvale UFSD

265

Cheektowaga-Sloan UFSD

152

Clarence CSD

353

Cleveland Hill UFSD

118

Depew UFSD

149

East Aurora UFSD

147

Eden CSD

134

Evans-Brant CSD

220

Frontier CSD

385

Grand Island CSD

260

Hamburg CSD

277

Holland CSD

86

Iroquois CSD

202

Kenmore-Tonawanda UFSD

600

Lackawanna City Schools

162

Lancaster CSD

510

North Collins CSD

56

Orchard Park CSD

488

Springville-Griffith Inst CSD

138

Sweet Home CSD

272

Tonawanda City School District

145

West Seneca CSD

540

Williamsville CSD

827

Charter School

Units Distributed

Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School

94

Buffalo Collegiate Charter School

25

Buffalo United Charter School

50

Charter School of Inquiry

27

Charter School - Applied Technologies

197

Elmwood Village Charter School Days Park

38

Elmwood Village Charter School Hertel

21

Enterprise Charter School

10

Global Concepts Charter School

80

Health Sciences Charter School

15

Persistence Prep

15

South Buffalo Charter School

52

Tapestry Charter School

102

West Buffalo Charter School

43

Western NY Maritime Charter School

48

Westminster Community Charter School

46

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Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations