Grandview Schools use UV light machines to keep classrooms disinfected
By Sandy Foster
As Grandview C-4 District students return to school this fall, they’ll be learning in classrooms that are being cleaned with Puro UV Light Disinfection Systems. Over the summer the district purchased four Puro F1 cart systems at a cost of approximately $15,000 each. These systems use ultraviolet disinfecting lights that flash every few seconds to kill an entire roomful of germs, including COVID-19.
It’s a new way the district aims to protect the health of students and staff, said Angela Brantley, director of facilities.
She explained that if a student or teacher tests positive for Covid-19, best practices currently state the classroom must be vacated for cleaning, but that process can’t begin until 24 hours after the exposure. Otherwise, she said, “Kids would have to be temporarily moved to the lunchroom, and this is very disruptive.” With the UV light system, a cart is rolled into a room, activated and finished disinfecting within 20-30 minutes. “The technology is hospital grade, EPA certified and documented to eliminate flu viruses, MRSA, Norovirus, mold and mites,” she said.
She noted the system operates on a 120-volt outlet and is capable of cleaning 1,000 square feet every 30 minutes at a low operating cost. “If I were to operate the system every day, it would still be six years before a bulb needed to be replaced.”
UV light can cause burns, eye damage and skin cancer. School leaders make certain that rooms are vacant when the system is used, and a timer is set to turn it on and off. Home disinfecting light wands are a different story. According to WebMD, the products being sold to the public in stores and online are not regulated the same way as professional-grade systems. Caution is advised before making a purchase for personal use.
Brantley said the school district will have one cart housed at the high school, one stationed at High Grove Early Childhood Education Center, and two remaining carts that will float throughout the district as needed.
“Grandview is using this technology in the fight against COVID-19, but we’re also using peroxide-based cleaning products along with touchpoint cleaning, social distancing, masking, temperature checks and employee mapping,” she said. “Although nothing is 100%, ever, the district is doing everything it can to make Grandview a safe place to return to.”