Every occupied classroom, portable and wellness room will soon be outfitted with an institutional grade HEPA filter. More than 235 schools have already received HEPA filters. Following the province’s most recent funding announcement, delivery of additional HEPA units will start by early March at a rate of 1,500 units per week. Units will be distributed to schools, based on the quintile model developed by Toronto Public Health (TPH), starting with elementary schools in areas of the city, where there have been higher incidents of COVID-19. It is expected that all elementary schools will have units by the end of March, and all secondary schools will have units by mid-April.
HEPA filters are one tool used to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Schools will continue to focus on self-screening, mask wearing, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, hand washing, increasing fresh air through mechanical ventilation and/or opening windows and other safety protocols to keep schools, students and staff safe.