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Paulina Meat Market, Other Businesses Look To Curb Coronavirus Spread By Purifying Or Filtering Air

CHICAGO (CBS) -- As Chicago and the rest of the state tighten COVID-19 restrictions, some businesses are looking at a new way to help curb the spread.

As CBS 2's Marissa Parra reported Thursday, the businesses are filtering or purifying the air.

It's almost business as usual at Paulina Market – named for the street it was first located on, but located up the block at 3501 N. Lincoln Ave. since the mid-1980s – it's almost business as usual.

The butcher shop has the usual COVID-19 mitigation measures in place. But the biggest difference is something you can't see.

"We have two main vents that come to the front, one on each side of the store," said Paulina Market owner Bill Begale. "We put two UV lighting systems in there where the air always passes through it."

It might be hard to see, but a little blue dot on a device concealed in an open ceiling panel is part of a bigger effort to get harmful microorganisms out of the air.

"It's replenishing that fresh air all the time," Begale said.

We spoke to someone from Air Fresh Duct Cleaning, who said products that purify and filter the air are flying off the shelves. Their top clients are homes and hospitals.

Within the last few weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put out updated research that shows COVID-19 transmission can be slowed with improved ventilation.

The CDC adds that updating your central air filtration is a good idea. They recommend high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filtration or fan systems.

The CDC also advises increasing airflow to the places where a person or people will be, and increasing outdoor air – where and when possible, weather permitting.

As more studies show the effectiveness of changing how your air moves, more businesses are catching on – restaurants, homes, and even your local butcher shop that's been service West Lakeview since 1949.

How much did it cost?

"About $2,000," Begale said. "A thousand each."

Experts we spoke to over the phone said the products are effective. The smaller the space, the better – and while studies are still being done to see just how effective these products are, every little effort counts.

"Is it 100 percent? No," Begale said, "but it's better than zero percent."

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