Before the start of the school year, town halls buy air purifiers to fight Covid-19

More and more schools are equipped with CO2 sensors but also with air purifiers, to fight the virus in the classrooms. The bill is strong for town halls.

In the hallways of an elementary school. © Radio France / Christine Würtz

This week, the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, will announce the exact modalities for the start of the school year on 2 September. But already, this weekend he has tried to reassure parents and teachers, in an interview with the Sunday newspaper. Concerned about the concern of teachers, parents and students, while the highly contagious Delta variant could quickly close classes, the counselor says: this return to school will be “as normal as possible, with students in class and preserving everyone’s health”.

The health protocol has been known since the end of July. That is why, he announces, at level 2 of this protocol, the school year will begin. without distance learning, all accompanied by a vaccination campaign for students over 12 years. To avoid cascading, city ​​councils are taking the lead and are already equipping their schools with air purifiersas many scientists claim.

National Education reserves its usefulness

These air purifiers make it possible to reduce, at best, the particles that are in the air and that are polluting. In specialized companies the orders are constant, whether for schools, colleges and institutes. Since last year, NatéoSanté has equipped nearly 500 schools. And this is just the beginning, says its president Thierry Ricci: “For the past two weeks, we have seen an increase in requests to equip certain institutes.” Last week, the entrepreneur had several meetings with town halls to equip primary schools. “Since last year we have had a very strong acceleration in the equipment of this type of establishment.”

We expect an even bigger year in 2022: a number of budgets have been set aside to equip the establishments, and necessarily to better anticipate the evolution of the pandemic.

Orders are increasing, despite National Education reservations about the effectiveness of air purifiers. In his interview with JDD, Jean-Michel Blanquer says he is in favor of generalizing CO2 sensors in schools. But when it comes to air purifiers, if they “can be useful especially for certain rooms that are impossible to ventilate enough through the windows”no placeholder to open windows “he believes.

In addition, it is not mentioned in the latest health protocol, which consists of recommending the installation of CO2 sensors and ventilation “Classrooms, as well as the rest of the premises occupied during the day at least 15 minutes in the morning before the arrival of the students, during each break, during breaks, at lunchtime and during the cleaning of the premises.” Ventilation of at least five minutes per hour will be required.

Other countries opt for purifiers

In a press release, MP Matthieu Orphelin punishes the lack of clarity of the Minister of National Education. According to him, it is necessary “Generalize CO2 sensors and air purifiers in classrooms”. He asks: “Because even though ‘sometimes opening a window is more effective’ as the minister says, how can you learn to read with the window open this fall or winter?” It calls for the creation of a grant fund for the purchase of CO2 sensors and air purifiers to support municipalities up to 1,000 euros per class.or 250 million euros to equip the classes of all public schools.

In a column published in Le Monde on August 18, some 30 doctors, teachers and researchers call for schools not to be the health strategy of the Achilles heel, and point out “failure” of the sanitary protocol relating to air purifiers. “This summer, Ireland and Quebec equipped all the classrooms with CO2 detectors, while New York, Philadelphia and Frankfurt installed their own purifiers. Finland, Austria, the German Länder and the United States are also funding the installation. of these devices “. they write. Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer responds:

It is not so simple, as the purifier is not useful in all circumstances.

But some municipalities and regions did not wait for government guidelines. The Ille-de-France and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions, however, have begun to deploy massively purifiers in high schools. Cities like Cannes and Mérignac have installed them in all their schools, and even in their kindergartens. In the Rhône-Alpes, in Mornans, the mayor spent 10,000 euros last spring to buy seven air purifiers. In Alfortville, in the Val-de-Marne, according to the Parisian, there is still some thought to equip his 175 classes. The problem is still the price, the budget amounts to 175,000 euros.

To view this Twitter content, you must accept cookies Social Networks.

These cookies allow you to share or react directly to the social networks to which you are connected or to integrate content initially published on these social networks. They also allow social media to use your visits to our sites and applications for personalization and ad targeting.

Manage my choices

Leave a Comment