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Worried about the role that inadequate ventilation could play in the spread of COVID-19 in schools, Jasmin Roy calls on the generosity of Quebecers to provide air purifiers to schools in need.
The Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation on Monday launched a fundraising campaign aimed at equipping classes with portable air purification devices with UV rays. The organization has partnered with two Quebec companies for the occasion: Baulne, a firm of building mechanics experts, and Sanuvox, which manufactures air purifiers.
Last week, a collective of doctors and experts dubbed STOP-COVID published the results of “secret tests” carried out by teachers to measure the air quality in their classrooms.
In three out of four classes, CO2 levels exceeded the acceptable level by 700 to 800 ppm, depending on the group. In some classes, inadequate ventilation even led to rates of over 2,100 ppm.
The Biopür device, which the Foundation wishes to procure, is designed and assembled in Quebec by Sanuvox. It “can reduce the spread of contaminants, such as viruses, inside buildings,” says Jocelyn Dame, president of the company, while specifying that the purifier should not replace other hygiene measures.
Each class needs two devices, costing $ 500 each. For every 10 classes equipped by the Foundation, Baulne and Sanuvox will equip one free of charge.
A worrying situation
In interview with the HuffPost Quebec, Jasmin Roy explained that the dilapidated ventilation of schools was one of the concerns raised last week in a colloquium on the start of the school year in the context of a pandemic organized by the Foundation.
“The teachers are very anxious and afraid [que la mauvaise ventilation contribue à la propagation de la COVID-19]», He summarizes.
During the conference, several experts underlined the negative impacts of distance education for students, including loss of motivation and delay in learning. “We really have to make sure that they stay in school as much as possible,” insists Mr. Roy, hoping that the initiative will contribute to the feeling of safety of teachers and students in class.
As of Friday, a total of 1,029 classrooms were closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks across the province.
Asked whether the slowness of the Quebec government to recognize and address the role of dilapidated school ventilation in the spread of the coronavirus angers him, Jasmin Roy remains a philosopher.
“Right now, I don’t think the government will be able to meet all of the needs,” he said. “There will have to be a part that comes from citizens. So this is my civic commitment. ”
According to him, if the Fondation du Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie donates sports equipment to schools, there is nothing incongruous in his foundation offering air purifiers.
This does not mean that elected officials can shirk the responsibility of making schools healthy living environments. “I do my part, after that they do theirs”, concludes Jasmin Roy.
Donations can be made directly on the website of the Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation or through a page GoFundMe specifically created for this campaign. The Foundation hopes to raise at least $ 150,000, which would equip 150 classes of air purifiers. Monday morning, just a few hours after the campaign was launched, Jasmin Roy claimed to have already raised nearly $ 40,000.