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Senior care facilities receive funds for air purification systems

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Human Services approved grant funding totaling about $2.56 million for 63 skilled nursing facilities and 31 basic care facilities in the state to enhance their air purification equipment and help fight the spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces where vulnerable people reside.

“We are pleased that we have been able to approve funding for all of the long-term care facilities that requested funding for air purification system enhancements,” said department Executive Director Chris Jones.

The Legislature’s Budget Section approved the department’s request to use federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for this purpose in late October.

Facilities could apply for up to $40,000 for the cost of equipment and installation. Each participating facility had to obtain a cost estimate from a heating and air conditioning ventilation contractor and submit that information to the department.

Participating approved facilities have until Dec. 30 to install the equipment. The department will reimburse facilities for their costs after installation is completed.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, when used properly, air cleaners and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a building or small space. When used with other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, air filtration can be part of a plan to reduce the potential for airborne spread of COVID-19 indoors.

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