HAYS COUNTY, Texas - The Hays County ISD school board approved a $4.4 million dollar budget for the school district to install air purifiers. The purifiers would be installed in common areas throughout all schools in the district including classrooms, gyms, libraries, and nurses' offices.
"The thought process is that they would go anywhere students and staff congregate, said Max Cleaver, Hays CISD Chief Operation Officer.
The $4.4 million budget is for roughly 1760 air purifiers. Cleaver said conversations about COVID-19 safety protocols and recommendations are always being had. He said air purifiers have been a point of conversation before, but since they approval from the board they can move forward with the plan.
"It’s really just the district trying to be proactive and think of different solutions to keep kids and staff safe," he said.
Masks cannot be not required by the school per Governor Greg Abbott's order. However, they are encouraged. The district says with the air purifiers can offer additional protection.
"Having these air purifiers wouldn't eliminate the urgency for masks or just general safety and protocol and hand washing and those kinds of things, it's just another layer of protection," Cleaver said.
The purifier they're looking at is a Novaerus NV900.
The district stressed the money for the purifiers won't inhibit or pull from funds to help the kids. "It doesn't mean that because we are looking at air purifiers we're not going to do interventions and bring kids back up to where they need to be," said Tim Savoy, Chief Communications Officer for Hays CISD.
Adding it's an investment that can go beyond just COVID. "But also it's an investment that will pay dividends for years and years and decades maybe even to come," Savoy said.