At the moment, the province of Dachau will not purchase any air purifiers for schools. The district committee decided on Friday. But: the specialist office must check whether the purchase makes sense.
Dachau – After the summer holidays, a portable air purifier should take coronaviruses out of the air every semester – at least that’s what Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) wants. However, District Manager Stefan Lull, mayors and most district politicians can only smile tiredly about the 50 per cent funding. There are high costs, not only for purchase, but also for maintenance and electricity. At a district committee meeting on Friday it was decided not to purchase any equipment – at least for the time being. According to the current expert assessment, the efficacy of the devices is questionable, as shown in the session model: “This means that alternating/remote education, ventilation, concealment and quarantine requirements cannot be avoided.”
“It is unlikely that devices will replace distance education,” lol predicted. In addition, it is likely that one will need several devices per classroom, because according to studies, a significant effect can only be determined by two to three devices per room. Acquisition costs range from €150,000 (60 devices for classrooms in grades 1-6 with 50 percent reimbursement) to nearly €900,000 (345 devices for all classrooms and specialized rooms with 50 percent reimbursement) to just under €1 million in space.
Mayor Stephen Colby spoke on behalf of his fellow mayor, saying, “We are not convinced that it is appropriate to buy hardware.” He also criticized the fact that with the state government expecting every classroom to be fitted with air purifiers, demands are being placed on parents – the fundamental question has not been clarified: If we put in the equipment, should we continue to ventilate the room and wear masks? “The Ministry of Education has not yet answered this question.
However, district politicians do not want to be inactive: the district administration has been tasked with checking existing air conditioning (RLT) systems in district schools for the level of air exchange. In all schools that do not have air conditioning systems, a specialized office must check the possibility of installation. In addition, the planning office should check – in short – whether the devices ensure teaching in the classroom and, if so, how the rooms should be equipped.
But at one point, the county councils refused to agree to the department’s proposed decision: Accordingly, District Administrator Stefan Lull must be authorized by a decision to purchase mobile air purifiers under certain conditions. “But we’re talking about how big the committee should have a say in,” Colby demanded. Therefore, this point was omitted from the proposed resolution and postponed in a modified way: if something had to be done on the issue of funding — Colby demanded a 100% funding rate — and if new scientific findings emerged about the effect of air-purifying devices, the members of the district committee would immediately come together. The topic of air purifiers will be brought up again at the meeting on October 1st at the latest.
For Stephanie Burgmaier (CSU), this decision is a clear sign: “We’re doing something!” The region is not satisfied with the current expert assessment, “but is getting outside advice.”
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