While much of ESSER funding discussion regarding facility improvements is centered on HVAC enhancements and air purification, one lesser known application for ESSER funding is public address systems. These same mass notification systems which assist schools with safety and security can also help schools prepare for, respond to, and reduce COVID-19 transmission.
ESSER Goals: a Review
In 2020 and 2021, Congress passed a series of three stimulus bills that provided Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to schools to address the impact COVID-19 had on elementary and secondary schools across the nation. Schools are given flexibility in how best to use the funds, but the funding goals are primarily focused on addressing learning loss and providing a safe environment for students and staff:
- Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies with other entities and agencies to improve coordinated responses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
- School facility repairs and improvements to enable the operation of schools to reduce the risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs.
How PA Systems Help with COVID-19
A lesser-known application for ESSER Funds is the installation and enhancement of Public Address Systems to help prevent COVID-19 and reduce the risk of virus transmission.
These mass communication systems ensure a safe environment for students and staff by providing visual and auditory mass notification for:
- Social distancing guidelines
- Handwashing reminders
- Masking requirements
- COVID exposure alerts
- Infected area alerts
PA systems also provide immediate solutions for making a schedule and system changes from both on and off-campus (remotely), thereby reducing transmission risk and enabling enhanced COVID response coordination.
Real-World Examples: Telecor VuAlert
One tangible example of how CM3 deploys Public Address Systems to enhance health and safety is the Telecor VuAlert. This digital display communicates COVID-related messages, routine announcements, emergency alerts, and synchronized time.
Several features make this system popular with our customers:
Designed for high visibility, these displays can be installed in portrait or landscape orientation with layouts, backgrounds, and colors customized to match facility themes.
The screens provide full-color HD graphics and text.
Accompanying software enables the displays to be highly customized, allowing individual messages to be displayed on targeted screens.
Beyond social distancing, handwashing, and masking reminders, the display shows events, activities, daily lunch menus, news, and local weather information.
The current time is shown in an either digital or analog format which is synchronized to a cloud-based management portal.
Integrates with Telecor eSeries and TII/XL systems.
CM3 is the leading Telecor systems integrator in the region. Please reach out for more information.