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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A local school district says it is adding an additional layer of protection for students in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials with the Oklahoma City Public School District say they have started installing Needlepoint BiPolar Ionization systems in district facilities.

These systems are being installed as an added layer of safety.

“The health of our students and staff is always our priority and I am pleased OKCPS has been able to leverage federal CARES funding to add the ionization technology to all of our facilities. Doing this is just another way we are continuing to add layers of safety to our district operations,” said Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel.

Needlepoint bipolar ionization works to safely clean indoor air, leveraging an electronic charge to create a high concentration of positive and negative ions. These ions travel through the air continuously seeking out and attaching to particles, such as the coronavirus which is microscopic. As particles combine, they become large enough for them to be captured in the air filter and are able to be eliminated from the air more rapidly.

“This system will increase the indoor air quality in our schools and buildings and allow for the cleanest air we can provide for the safety of our students and staff. While this system is being added as a safety layer during the COVID-19 pandemic, it will continue to be beneficial well into the future, since it helps get rid of other viruses and even odors,” OKCPS Chief Operations Officer Scott Randall said. “This particular system was chosen over others because of its sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and it has been confirmed safe and effective by third-party labs.”

The new systems are expected to be installed in all district facilities by Jan. 31, 2021.