ENDWELL, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – The Broome County Health Department has purchased over 13 hundred air filters to help reduce exposure to airborne viruses in schools and daycares.

The medical grade HEPA filters are stand-alone units which can be placed in the classrooms with students and staff to remove airborne contaminants. County officials gathered at Maine Endwell High School this morning to announce the investment. The filters were purchased with New York State Department of Health Research grant funds.

The Public Health Director at the Broome County Health Department, Mary McFadden says that during the Fall and Winter months, COVID-19, flue, RSV and the common cold can circulate all at once. She says the new filters are not intrusive, and barely make a sound when they are running.

“A stealth health approach. It does not disrupt normal activity; people don’t know that it’s happening and its good for their health. The filters work by maximizing ventilation and increasing air exchanges,” said McFadden.

She says that the HEPA filters are helpful during air quality events such as the smoke from the Canadian wildfires that our area experienced over the Summer.

The county hopes that this technology will help with reducing absences from school by students and staff.

The Superintendent at Maine Endwell, Jason VanFossen says that if we have learned anything from the pandemic, indoor air quality plays a critical role in keeping students and staff healthy, safe and in school.