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Thursday, October 21, 2021
Flu_Lab_tour15_7032
A ventilation system designed to filter the building's air supply through a series of HEPA filters is pictured during a tour of the Influenza Research Institute (IRI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Feb. 2, 2015. The high-security research facility was closed down for annual decontamination, cleaning and maintenance. (Photo by Jeff Miller/ UW-Madison)

Dane County to install air purification and filtration systems in county buildings

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Tuesday in a press release that Dane County will be investing $570,000 toward the installation of ultraviolet air purification and air filtration units into the ventilation systems of several county-owned buildings to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

Over 20 buildings will be impacted by the decision and include some of the following:

  • Public Safety Building
  • Dane County Courthouse
  • Buildings at the Henry Vilas Zoo
  • Fish Hatchery Highway Building and the South Madison Office
  • Parks Maintenance Building

“Dane County is committed to combating the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Parisi stated. “Installing air purification and air filtration units on our ventilation systems at county owned facilities will help us improve the overall health and safety of our indoor spaces.”

The Environmental Protection Agency states that when used properly, air purifiers can reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection within confined spaces, especially when paired with other CDC recommendations such as wearing a mask in public and reducing indoor socialization. 

Funding for the new filtration units comes from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, passed in March 2021, which dedicated $1.9 trillion towards reducing COVID transmission in local municipalities. Dane County received $106 million of the federal funds.

According to the United States Treasury, the American Rescue plan is primarily aimed to assist communities consisting of people of color, immigrants and low-wage workers in order to provide direct relief to people who have been particularly impacted by the COVID crisis. 

Funding for the project is expected to be approved in the coming weeks with installation updates to follow.

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