Province Investing in Local Classroom Ventilation and Filtration

Published on August 31, 2021

Beamsville - As students across the province prepare to return to the classroom, the Government of Ontario remains committed to keeping schools as safe as possible.

Acting on the advice of medical and public health experts, including Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Ontario, Sick Kids Hospital, and Ontario's Science Advisory Table, the province continues to work to ensure ventilation improvements will be in place for all publicly funded schools, including classrooms across Niagara.

Over the past several months, the province has announced new investments of more than $600 million to optimize air quality in schools across Ontario, including up to $25 million for the purchase of 20,000 standalone high efficiency particulate air filter units - or HEPA units.

Joint funding between the governments of Ontario and Canada through the COVID-19 Resilience Funding stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is supporting 2,052 projects in over 1,670 schools and co-located childcare facilities across 70 school boards throughout Ontario.

In Niagara, $7,536,600 has been allocated to the District School Board of Niagara, while $8,473,600 has been allocated to the Niagara Catholic District School Board, to improve classroom ventilation and filtration.

The province has also introduced a standardized reporting tool so school boards can share ventilation information with local communities.

Ventilation enhancements are one part of Ontario's plan to advance and protect public education for the 2021-22 school year. Ontario's safer return to school is supported by significant investments, including $1.6 billion in targeted COVID-19 supports and $80 million in funding for mental health supports.