Recent HCPS Documents Related to Operation of Mechanical HVAC Systems

Portable air-purification systems being installed in all cafeterias

HCPS is installing 300 new portable air-purification systems in its cafeterias for 2021-22 — three units for each elementary school cafeteria, and up to five for larger middle and high school cafeterias.

All students and staff are required to wear masks to start the school year, whether they are vaccinated or not. But because students must remove their masks to eat and drink, the new units provide another layer of protection in HCPS cafeterias. 

When contaminants enter the Virginia-built units, they must run a gauntlet of technology. The units have an initial negative ionization pre-filtering process, an activated carbon filter, a HEPA filter, a UV-C germicidal light and a final patented contaminant-neutralizing process. 

The purification units are the latest addition to risk-prevention measures the school division has taken in 2020 and 2021. Among other measures, HCPS has:

  • Worked with consultants to review more than 500 mechanical systems to incorporate recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers.
  • Upgraded filters in accordance with system capabilities and designs.
  • Maximized outside air provisions in accordance with system designs.
  • Incorporated “flushing” of the air in HCPS buildings through continuous air operation.
  • Beefed up its cleaning processes, purchasing electrostatic sprayers for maintenance crews as an effective addition to spray disinfectants.
  • Provided all schools with alcohol-based wipes and hand sanitizer in every room, and made clear plastic desk guards available for students and staff.