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.
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.
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.