COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Department of Corrections will spend nearly $1 million on air purifiers to combat the spread of COVID-19 in its prisons.
The agency told lawmakers last week about its plans to install the air ionizers into heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at correctional facilities by December.
Officials say the ionizers work by making the coronavirus particles heavier and easier to filter, and more likely to be knocked to the ground.
The Joint Bond Review Committee reviewed the proposal, estimated to cost $926,000, on Tuesday. Director Bryan Stirling told WIS-TV “internal canteen funds” would pay for the equipment.
The announced upgrades come after more than 30 inmates who contracted the disease have died since the start of the outbreak. The department has confirmed more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases among inmates and 496 cases among staff members across its facilities.