'Should be in every classroom in the county': DIY air filter boxes gain traction across country

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- People are building do-it-yourself air filter boxes to increase their level of ventilation and protection against COVID-19.

A Corsi-Rothenthal Box is essentially a portable air filter that can be made right at home or school. The creators describe it as a cost effective way to keep airborne virus particles out of an indoor space. 

It takes about 20 minutes to make. Here's a list of what you'll need:

  • Box fan
  • 20x20 Merv 13 air filters (4)
  • 20x20 cardboard pieces (2)
  • Duct tape

"It doesn't replace an HVAC system in a school or an office, but it certainly supplements it and it makes for much better filtration in that room," Milwaukee County Chief Health Policy Advisor Dr. Ben Weston said.

Just like vaccines, boosters and masks, Weston said good ventilation is a critical layer of protection against COVID-19.

"I think it should be in every classroom in the county," Weston said. 

Building the box could even double as a science project.

"You can talk about air filtration. You can talk about the particles, the bacteria, the virus far beyond COVID that this (box) filters out of the air," Weston said.

The downside is the cost. Some of the items you might already have laying around at home. To buy everything up front, it could cost less than $100.

"You compare that to revamping the HVAC system in the school. You compare that to having teachers and students out sick...I can't imagine the numbers are even comparable," Weston said.

Click here to see instructions on how to make one.

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