LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Disinfecting a classroom in minutes. A fancy piece of tech aims to do just that! It’s part of a cleaning campaign to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Clark County School District classrooms.
“When I first saw it, I thought what this is, because I didn’t really find out about it until it got here.”
Kelly Wright, principal at Lorna Kesterson Elementary School is learning firsthand what this slender machine does. It’s a hospital-grade UV-C system that can disinfect classrooms using light.
“It's UV-C light which is light at a specific wavelength, and it has enough energy to inactivate any kind of virus, bacteria mold or fungi on any surface or in the air,” said Grant Morgan, CEO and co-founder of R-Zero.
Developed by R-Zero, these machines are being deployed across CCSD with each school getting one. The company says it can be used as often as a custodian wants and it’s highly effective, including against COVID-19.
“We can disinfect a thousand square foot room in seven minutes and 4/9ths of reduction so 99.99% disinfection,” Morgan said.
Each machine costs about $20,000. The school district received money from the federal government last year to pay for the machines.
CCSD says the machines are meant to complement existing cleaning protocols and classrooms would have a unit disinfect it at least once a week. The machines would also play a role in case of an outbreak.
“This would be our rapid disinfection response so if there was a COVID-19 outbreak, in the past we would deploy Clorox 360, we would employ this unit and the entire school would be done,” said Jeff Wagner, the school district's chief of facilities.
Wright says she sees the machines as a long-term investment, saying they will help tackle absenteeism among students who may be sick.
“I even think it’s going to be great for cold and flu season, not just for COVID-19, but beyond that for every issue we have,” she said.
And she thinks students will approve of these new machines.
“They’ll think it’s pretty cool. Like something out of Star Wars, so I think they’re going to think it’s great,” Wright said.
CCSD says it plans on having these machines long-term even when the pandemic is over, saying disinfecting classrooms will continue to be a priority.