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September 23, 2020

Worcester to invest $15M in ionization to fight pandemic in buildings

Photo | Grant Welker Worcester City Hall

The City of Worcester is spending $15 million to outfit 85 facilities, including schools and municipal buildings, to install new equipment to help sanitize air during the coronavirus pandemic.

Portable ionization devices will be added to the buildings' heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems to help clean the air of contaminants, including pathogens and viruses.

The initiative is intended to include CIty Hall, the library, police station and other buildings. Worcester Public Schools includes roughly 50 school buildings, and a priority is being placed on getting the equipment installed in schools as early as possible. Students are now going to school remotely.

"It'll help us navigate COVID, but it's also improving the health conditions of all our public buildings," City Manager Edward Augustus told the City Council on Tuesday. 

City officials are working with school and state officials to identify funding sources to offset costs associated with the project, he said.

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