Street Talk: Schools are breathing easier

Mall madness.

Over 100,000 Fellowes AeraMax Air Purifiers are now in U.S. schools, according to Holland-based Trendway.

Fellowes Contract Interiors and Trendway on March 29 announced that over 100,000 Fellowes AeraMax Air Purifiers units have been sold in schools across 32 states since the onset of the pandemic. Fellowes AeraMax Air Purifiers have shown a 99.99% airborne reduction of a coronavirus surrogate within 60 minutes of operation. The purifiers are available through Trendway’s network of more than 350 dealer partners across the United States and Canada.

The units were demonstrated through independent laboratory testing to be effective in reducing aerosolized airborne concentration of human coronavirus 229E in a test chamber, reaching 99.99% airborne reduction within one hour of operation. The coronavirus 229E was used as a surrogate to Sars-CoV-2 by the testing lab Shanghai WEIPU Chemical Technology Service Company. Fellowes AeraMax Air Purifiers also have been proven to remove 99.9% of the H1N1 virus within 35 minutes of operation, as certified by Airmid Health Group Limited in Dublin.

“As the national conversation builds around the need to improve indoor air quality as part of reopening plans, we understand that teachers and parents are concerned about the health of their students,” said Mark Rhoades, president, Fellowes Contract Interiors. “Fellowes continues to see an increase in localized air purification demand as educators and facilities managers understand the scientific evidence around coronaviruses’ airborne transmission and work to create safer indoor environments in school.” 

The latest CDC guidance for school reopenings offers more detail about the role of air ventilation, filtration and purification as a COVID-19 prevention strategy. Air cleaners, such as Fellowes AeraMax Air Purifiers with True HEPA filtration, complement HVAC systems by optimizing local indoor air quality and providing an extra layer of virus protection. The AeraMax air purification solution helps achieve scientists’ recommended goal of four to six air changes per hour (ACH), meaning the air is refreshed every 10-15 minutes.

“COVID-19 has been a wake-up call (about) the importance of indoor air quality. School administrations are listening and responding to teachers, staff and parents who are well-studied on the issue of coronaviruses’ airborne spread and the role of filtration and purification as a mitigation strategy,” said Rob Day, executive vice president of customer experience, Fellowes Contract Interiors. “Government funding programs, such as CARES and the newly passed American Rescue Plan Act, have enabled schools to invest in commercial air purification.”

Trendway said Fellowes commercial-grade AeraMax Pro air purifiers perform quietly and offer proprietary smart technology features and easy installation. The air purifiers’ technologies include EnviroSmart and PureView. EnviroSmart utilizes multiple sensors to monitor contaminants and room occupancy. It adjusts automatically to provide maximum protection, expanding the life of machines and filters. PureView makes the invisible visible with real-time screen updates on air quality and machine performance.

“Before the pandemic, there was a real separation of purification and ventilation; however, now localized air purification solutions are being recognized as a necessary component of a ventilation strategy,” said Mike Booth, global market director of air treatment, Fellowes Brands. “We’re learning that many schools see Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers as a cost-efficient solution versus the time and expense required to overhaul HVAC systems.”

Schools in New Jersey, Wisconsin, Virginia, California and Indiana are using the products.

“Our experience with the Fellowes AeraMax Pro product line has been wonderful. Our teachers, students and administrators can see the air being cleaned with the Fellowes PureView technology, which provides a feeling of safety, and the units turn off, saving energy when our classrooms are empty,” said Jeff Kutch, director of facilities, facilities administration at Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana.

Beyond the classroom, schools are installing Fellowes air purifiers in other shared spaces such as resource rooms, libraries, locker rooms, nurses’ offices, conference spaces and media centers.

Trendway sales reps engage with facilities managers to determine air purification needs throughout buildings. Schools can have Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers delivered in less than two weeks.

Staying home

For “staycationers” wanting to get out of the house during spring break, Woodland Mall has several opportunities for everyone to safely enjoy time off from school and work.

Woodland Mall will host a Small Business Expo in its Von Maur wing from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, April 10, where business owners will set up booths to showcase their products and engage with the community. Guests will have the opportunity to learn more about these small businesses and support them.

“For those families who still aren’t comfortable traveling, Woodland Mall is the perfect spring break destination,” said Woodland Mall Marketing Director Cecily McCabe. “From shopping to games and other creative opportunities, we are eager to help families enjoy a safe and fun staycation experience.”

Shoppers also will be able to enjoy visiting for longer periods of time when the mall returns to normal operating hours on April 5: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon-6 p.m., Sunday.

With the weather warming up, Zumiez will offer 25% off pads with any skateboard purchase over spring break so shoppers can enjoy designing their new boards now and have something to look forward to later.

For teens hoping to line up their summer jobs, apparel stores Altar’d State, H&M, The Buckle and Banana Republic are looking to hire.

Families looking for fun can visit the Funshop Arcade in the Macy’s wing and browse the games and toys at Toysmark and Barnes & Noble.

“Choosing to spend spring break at the mall also benefits the retailers and restaurants and their employees who are still trying to recover from the pandemic,” McCabe said. “Visiting the mall is a great way to give our local economy a boost.”

Even after spring break, guests will continue to see new developments at the mall. Backstage by Macy’s will celebrate its grand opening as a stand-alone business on the department store’s recently renovated second floor on Saturday, April 17. The shop offers men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, accessories and more at affordable prices.

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