Air Filters for Somerset Schools

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Less than 1 in 10 primary school children in Somerset are vaccinated against Covid - but the Government has just withdrawn it’s Covid vaccine programme for children born after September 2017 and is now actively pursuing a policy of herd immunity. This isn’t good enough - so I’m campaigning to get air filters into schools and EYFS (Early Years Foundation Setting) classrooms in Somerset. 
“What’s an air filter?”
It does what it says on the tin: it sucks in air and filters out pollutants like viruses and pollen. Commercial HEPA filters (High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing) are very effective at removing viruses like Covid from the air. However they are very expensive (£400+). In response, Dr Richard Corsi and Jim Rosenthal in the USA developed their (you guessed it) Corsi-Rosenthal filter using nothing more than 4 air filters and a box fan taped together. 

“Wait… a DIY air filter?!”
Yes - that’s the cost saving element. It’s not fancy but studies indicate it provides a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) that competes with anything else available off the shelf. You can learn how to build one yourself here. The CR filter movement has taken off in a big way in the US, and it has even made it to Wales where Dr Rhys Thomas has developed a version which has been deployed in 40 Welsh schools across Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. 

How much does a DIY filter cost?
Each air filter costs £190. They did cost £158 but the £ dropped sharply against the $ in September so the equipment is more expensive (the filters are from the USA). 

School and EYFS budgets are already overstretched, so I’m leading a grass-roots community effort to buy the equipment to build the CR boxes for as many schools who want them. 

In the part of Somerset I represent (Coker Division - between Yeovil and Crewkerne) there are 6 primary schools and I’ve calculated it’ll cost £13,500 to put filters in every one of these schools. Once I’ve proven it can be done my hope is to scale up deployment across all of Somerset. But it is early days!

“Why can’t the County Council just pay up?” Like most councils, Somerset County Council has faced a decade or more of budget cuts. It is not currently the policy of Somerset County Council to install filters in classrooms. 

Why are you doing this?!
A few weeks ago I met Emily. An (at the time) unvaccinated 10 year old girl who developed debilitating Long Covid after getting the virus. She is an inspirational young girl who is making a good recovery but is still in a great deal of pain and is now registered disabled. I want to make sure we do as much as we can to make sure school is as safe as possible for children.

Worryingly, we’re heading into winter 2022 with NO mitigations other than “open the window” and “wash your hands”. Yet in the winter of 2020 and 2021 our schools had class bubbles, children and families could get free LFTs and PCR tests, those with Covid had to isolate away from school…

NONE of these things are happening or in place in schools this winter. There are no classroom bubbles, you have to pay for LFTs, PCR test centres are gone, and the guidance for isolation has moved to “try to stay at home where possible” if you test positive for Covid.

Where’s my money going?
Every single penny I receive from your donation will go towards purchasing equipment to make CR air filters. I intend to publish all receipts to prove it. 

Each air filter costs £190


Oliver Patrick
Higher Street, West Chinnock, Crewkerne

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