Quebec to install CO2 detectors in all classrooms by the end of the 2022 school year: letter

After concerns were raised during the coronavirus pandemic about indoor air quality in Quebecs schools, the province said it is now planning to install CO2 detectors in all classrooms by the end of the next school year.

In a letter issued Friday to directors general, the Ministry of Education said it has "decided to go ahead with the installation of CO2 readers in all learning rooms of all private educational institutions in Quebec" to improve air quality indoors.

The ministry said it will issue a call for tenders to get the required equipment installed in schools with a deadline of June 30, 2022.

Schools will be responsible for installing the new readers in all classrooms, including libraries, gymnasiums, daycare rooms and possibly dining areas, and the devices must be able to monitor temperature and relative humidity, the letter stated. They will also allow employees to "take actions directly, such as opening windows and doors to increase the supply of fresh outside air."

Schools will have a chance to get more information on the province’s plans at two information sessions scheduled for July 12 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and July 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Two types of devices are being sought, according to the province: readers that plug into the school’s building management system or wireless, stand-alone detectors that are not connected to the existing ventilation system.

Schools will decide which system is best suited to them, according to the letter. The province said the wireless CO2 detectors "will be provided to you" and noted they are the preferred option because they are "installed more easily and quickly, at lower costs and in all types of buildings, even those with a heritage character."

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