RIVER FALLS — School Board on Monday night, Dec. 7, unanimously approved a $211,180 bid to install air ionization systems in all district buildings.

The district worked with KFI Engineering out of the Twin Cities to design and conduct a bid process for the HVAC system. Fond du Lac-based J. F. Ahern Co. was the lowest of four bids received.

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Strategies for protecting schools by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include boosting building ventilation and air filtration. Ionization is one way to filter airborne contaminants.

Pandemic update

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Monday marked the first day back to hybrid in-person/distance learning for River Falls seventh and eighth graders after the district moved them to online-only instruction in November over COVID-19 activity in the community. Grades 9-12 will return to a hybrid schedule in January. Elementary school students continue to attend in-person classes five days a week.

There were fewer than 15 students and fewer than five staff members in the infectious period of COVID-19 as of Monday, according to a weekly update to School Board by Superintendent Jamie Benson. The district averaged around 34 students out with COVID-19 symptoms at the start of each week since mid-October.

The district reiterated a call for the community to limit gatherings, wear face coverings and sanitize hands and surfaces in the interest of keeping schools open.

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