Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Lower-cost Ventilation Strategies Predominate: The majority of U.S. K–12 public schools reported using lower-cost ventilation improvement strategies, such as relocating activities outdoors and opening doors or windows.
  2. Resource-intensive Strategies Less Common: Higher-cost, resource-intensive strategies like replacing HVAC systems or using HEPA filters were less frequently reported, especially among rural and mid-poverty schools.
  3. Rural and Mid-poverty Schools Less Likely to Implement Advanced Strategies: There is a significant disparity in the adoption of resource-intensive ventilation strategies based on school location and poverty level, with rural and mid-poverty schools less likely to implement these measures.
  4. Public Health Implications: Focusing support on schools least likely to have implemented resource-intensive ventilation strategies could reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and facilitate equitable implementation of improvements.
  5. Substantial Federal Resources Available: Despite the availability of substantial federal resources for ventilation improvement, there’s a need for increased effort to ensure schools, especially those less likely to use resource-intensive strategies, access and utilize these resources.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Sanjana Pampati, .

Suggested Citation

Pampati S, Rasberry CN, McConnell L, et al. Ventilation Improvement Strategies Among K–12 Public Schools — The National School COVID-19 Prevention Study, United States, February 14–March 27, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:770–775. DOI: .


The CDC conducted a study on ventilation improvement strategies among K–12 public schools in the U.S. using data from the National School COVID-19 Prevention Study. The study found that lower-cost ventilation strategies were more commonly reported than resource-intensive methods. Rural and mid-poverty schools were particularly less likely to implement more costly ventilation improvements.


The study analyzed responses from a nationally representative sample of 420 K–12 public schools, focusing on the implementation of 11 ventilation improvement strategies. The analysis considered factors such as school location, poverty level, and the impact of these strategies on public health practice.


The findings highlight the disparity in the implementation of ventilation improvement strategies across schools of different locales and poverty levels. The study suggests that equitable implementation of ventilation improvements could be facilitated by focusing support on schools that are less likely to use resource-intensive strategies.


Ensuring the use of available federal resources for ventilation improvement is crucial for reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools. Public health professionals can play a key role in supporting schools, particularly those in rural and mid-poverty areas, to access and utilize these resources effectively.


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