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Supervisors explore program to provide air filtration systems to small businesses, nonprofits

American Rescue Plan funds, fees from health order violations could cover costs

Santa Clara County supervisors want to create a $10 million grant program that would provide and install air filtration systems for small businesses and nonprofits most impacted by the pandemic.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez speaks to the media gathered at the Santa Clara County building on Dec. 14, 2020. Courtesy Jana Kadah/Bay City News.

At their Tuesday meeting, supervisors unanimously voted to explore ways to create such a program and identify federal and state funding to support it.

"I'm concerned that for smaller businesses, (air filtration systems) may fall off the radar just because of the other choices that people have to make," said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who proposed the grant program.

She noted that air filtration would be an essential addition to businesses because it could keep residents safe not only during the pandemic, but against wildfires and other air quality issues as well.

"Indoor air must be properly ventilated and filtered if we are to reopen safely, quickly, and effectively," Chavez wrote in her board referral.

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She said the most effective way to do so was to install an upgraded MERV-13 filter, which removes at least 85% of particles as they pass through the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, or a HEPA filter which can remove more than 99% of airborne particles that pass through it.

Other supervisors agreed with Chavez but voiced concerns over the price tag.

Supervisor Joe Simitian suggested using COVID-19 health order violation fines collected by the county to be reinvested into the air filtration grant program.

The notion to reinvest the fines collected, which total to around half a million dollars, was originally Supervisor Susan Ellenberg's, in which she suggested it be used for any form of COIVD relief for small businesses.

In her board referral, Chavez said funding from American Rescue Plan could potentially cover 90% to all of the costs in assisting small businesses.

However, Chavez and county staff are looking at other COVID-19 relief from the state and federal government and considering having cities match funding.

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Supervisors explore program to provide air filtration systems to small businesses, nonprofits

American Rescue Plan funds, fees from health order violations could cover costs

by / Bay City News Service

Uploaded: Wed, Apr 21, 2021, 8:51 am

Santa Clara County supervisors want to create a $10 million grant program that would provide and install air filtration systems for small businesses and nonprofits most impacted by the pandemic.

At their Tuesday meeting, supervisors unanimously voted to explore ways to create such a program and identify federal and state funding to support it.

"I'm concerned that for smaller businesses, (air filtration systems) may fall off the radar just because of the other choices that people have to make," said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who proposed the grant program.

She noted that air filtration would be an essential addition to businesses because it could keep residents safe not only during the pandemic, but against wildfires and other air quality issues as well.

"Indoor air must be properly ventilated and filtered if we are to reopen safely, quickly, and effectively," Chavez wrote in her board referral.

She said the most effective way to do so was to install an upgraded MERV-13 filter, which removes at least 85% of particles as they pass through the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, or a HEPA filter which can remove more than 99% of airborne particles that pass through it.

Other supervisors agreed with Chavez but voiced concerns over the price tag.

Supervisor Joe Simitian suggested using COVID-19 health order violation fines collected by the county to be reinvested into the air filtration grant program.

The notion to reinvest the fines collected, which total to around half a million dollars, was originally Supervisor Susan Ellenberg's, in which she suggested it be used for any form of COIVD relief for small businesses.

In her board referral, Chavez said funding from American Rescue Plan could potentially cover 90% to all of the costs in assisting small businesses.

However, Chavez and county staff are looking at other COVID-19 relief from the state and federal government and considering having cities match funding.

Comments

Steve Raney
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 29, 2021 at 8:18 pm
Steve Raney, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 29, 2021 at 8:18 pm

On 2/24, SCCPH Officer Cody stated, “We now know much of COVID transmission is AEROSOL or airborne, a bit of it is droplets, and very little on surface.” All of CDC’s superspreading case studies are indoor transmission via small virus particles traveling more than 6’. On 4/5, the CDC belated admitted that surface transmission isn’t a thing. There are life-saving implications to this belated public health awakening to transmission science (known in China in late 2019, known worldwide in March 2020), especially in the Global South where vaccination won’t complete until Dec 2022.

Kudos to Sup Chavez for accelerating economic recovery and preventing unnecessary deaths of essential workers. There is an urgent need to update all public health orders worldwide, especially those in the Global South. CDC and WHO probably aren’t going to admit to 14 months of blindness to transmission science (and basic geometry) unless elected leaders exert pressure.

I take 10% credit for Sup Chavez’s action and Dr. Cody’s statement. Details:
Web Link (a shorter version of this article ran in the Weekly on 3/20).


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