WINNIPEG - The province says it’s investing $6.8 million in additional funding toward improving ventilation in schools.
Education Minister Cliff Cullen says the extra dedicated funds will cover the costs of ventilation improvements in education facilities across Manitoba, including the purchase of stand-alone filtration systems for as many as 6,000 classrooms — and the filters required for them to operate — and other projects that wouldn’t need to be part of larger construction projects.
The province estimates each machine would cost $1,000, and notes the new fund would be an addition to the $40 million already allocated this school year toward COVID-19-related expenditures, including ventilation needs.
The Manitoba government says it’s also continuing to fund school capital construction upgrades across the province, including an injection of over $21 million on ventilation projects. Fourteen school divisions have reported $1.3 million in ventilation-related investments this year so far, building on almost $800,000 reported last year.
But Cullen says ventilation upgrades are just one part of a multi-layered approach to keeping students and school staff healthy, stressing the importance of more basic measures like hand hygiene, PPE, vaccination, and screening.