Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new indoor air quality program on Tuesday designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in long-term care facilities.
The program — funded by the federal CARES act — will target senior living facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living centers and adult day centers. Of the federal funding provided to the state, $28 million will be earmarked for HVAC inspections, portable air filtration systems, new filtration systems, maintenance on current systems, and other interventions in these facilities.
Purchases made on or after March 1 and up to December 30 to improve indoor air quality are eligible for funding. Facilities can receive up to $15,000 in funding.
The program was approved by Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors last Wednesday.
“As we move into colder months and spend more time inside, proper ventilation and filtration are even more important to stop the spread of COVID-19,” DeWine said in a statement.
Although air filtration alone cannot prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Environmental Protection Agency said that “filtration can be part of a plan to reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.”
The agency recommends filters that are able to remove airborne particles in the size range of 0.1-1 um.
There are currently more than 3,400 current confirmed cases of coronavirus among residents and more than 2,500 cases among staff of long-term care facilities, according to the Ohio Department of Health. That is out of more than 23,600 and more than 16,000 cumulative cases, respectively.
There have been more than 430,000 cases of the coronavirus and 6,548 deaths across the state, the department reported.
– – –
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Ohio Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.