CSBA webinar covers ways to keep students safe on campus amid pandemic

CSBA recently hosted a webinar focused on keeping students safe as they return to campuses using layered mitigation methods like regular testing for COVID-19 and effective air filtration.

The Aug. 19 event featured presenters from CSBA partner Maclean Health as well as AMI Expeditionary Healthcare, Delos Air Purification and TrackMy Solutions.

Maclean Health holds the state’s face mask contract and has delivered large volumes of critical masks to many California departments and agencies, including the Department of Education and various local educational agencies.

Paul Scialla, CEO of Maclean partner Delos Air Purification, the nation’s largest solution provider for air filtration in public school classrooms, was on-hand to talk about a product that LEAs can easily utilize to improve air quality.

A standalone air filtration solution, Delos Advanced Air Purification can plug into an electrical outlet and be mounted to a wall or placed on the floor. The device is “very quiet,” low maintenance, with a filter that only has to be replaced annually, and affordable, scaling “at a couple hundred dollars per classroom,” Scialla said.

“What we’re talking about here is a device the size of a small fan that plugs into the wall and gets you 99.97 [percent] reduction of an airborne viral load down to .007 microns,” Scialla explained. “Our job here is to separate fact from fiction and put forth best in-class solutions that we know have been tested in real classroom settings and what we’ve landed on is this particular technology.”

The typical classroom requires two 20 by 13 by 8.75-inch units positioned at opposite sides of the room to localize filtration. Larger units with “up to 3,000 square feet of coverage with one unit” are also available for more spacious locations like gymnasiums.

Scialla said Delos can typically ship orders within days to help LEAs quickly address ongoing pathogen concerns.

Featured in a Aug. 16 Los Angeles Times article, AMI Expeditionary Healthcare’s partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District to conduct 250,000 COVID-19 tests per week for staff and students is one way the district is hoping to keeps its community healthy.

Even with the availability of vaccines for those ages 12 and up, Dr. D. Zebari, medical director testing and vaccines at AMI Health, said diagnostic tests will continue to be critical. The organization has partnered with SummerBio to process the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests with results typically available for individuals and clients within 24 hours of specimen collection.

Tests can be used on a regular basis as well as for special purposes such as baseline testing before schools open or to test student athletes prior to a game.

“We realize that California may possibly try to use a pool testing option, which initially when we’re not in a peak may be suitable, but what we can offer at unprecedented levels with our testing partners is individual PCR testing,” Zebari said.

While pool testing can save resources like manpower as it runs multiple tests together, AMI’s PCR tests provide individual results allowing for easier identification of people who test positive, Zebari said.

Also highlighted was AMI partner TrackMy Solutions and its healthcare information system TrackMy Lab Results. The product provides mechanisms for registration/scheduling, recording, lab results, tracking reporting and workflow management related to COVID-19 testing and is HIPPA compliant, according to the presentation.

Watch the webinar on CSBA’s YouTube page.