The United States is focused on getting kids back to in-person school for fall. Parents know that the pandemic has been hard on lots of kids. The loss of social interaction and the stress of online school can be hard to balance with the desire to keep kids, teachers, and families safe. But UV-C can help schools reopen safely.
COVID infections have not been as serious in children as in adults, however, as more adults get vaccinated, children are making up a much larger number of COVID cases. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics earlier in May, children now make up 22% of COVID cases in the United States, up from just 3% this time last year! This means that in one week in April, 71,649 children tested positive for COVID. In total, 3.7 million children have contracted COVID. While death from COVID in children remains extremely rare, some children are experiencing long-term impacts from the illness, or infecting adults who are not as resilient against the virus.
This shift in cases is making it more important for schools to ensure they are operating safely for students, as well as staff and families. Thankfully, there are several ways to ensure safety with in-person learning.
The gold standard of safety thus far has been extensive cleaning of commonly touched surfaces and masking. But will schools have the will or the resources to keep this up? And what about the air?
Luckily, passive ultraviolet light can be used to keep surfaces and air clean without as much work as chemical solutions, without the ongoing costs associated with having to supply these cleaning products, and without the potentially toxic chemicals.
How does UV-C Work?
Ultraviolet C, or UV-C light is naturally produced by the sun, but it is filtered out by the atmosphere and doesn’t make it to the surface. Which is a good thing because this short-wavelength light is extremely effective at destroying microorganisms. The light breaks the DNA of germs, bacteria, and viruses. This renders the microorganism unable to infect or reproduce, thus neutralizing the threat.
What does UV-C Clean?
UV-C sterilization has been used in water treatment facilities for decades. Just recently, with the advent of LED UV-C lights has the wavelength been able to make it into products designed to clean surfaces and the air. A study by the University of California, Santa Barbara found that ultraviolet LEDs can destroy the SARs-CoV-2/COVID/Coronavirus.
How can UV-C Help Schools?
UV-C can be used in several different applications to clean surfaces and the air in academic settings. The most practical uses for schools are:
Charging Carts: Chromebooks, tablets, keyboards, and cell phones are among the dirtiest things in schools. Cell phones are often dirtier than doorknobs, or even toilet seats, yet they are sanitized far less often. If a student is touching their cell phone, then moves to a school-issued electronic, those germs can move with the student.
The solution to this contamination risk is a UV-C charging cart. Connect UV’s Charging Carts are fully customizable and can fit between 10-40 electronics, depending on configuration and item size. The carts come equipped with surge protection, locks, casters, charging cables, and auto-off safety to ensure no one is accidentally exposed to UV-C light. The best part? They only cost 20-25% more than non-sterilizing charging carts!
Whole room surface sanitation: your janitorial staff knows that wiping down all surfaces is time-consuming or even not possible. Thankfully, there are UV solutions that can save staff time, and reduce their exposure to potentially harmful microorganisms. There are several options available that utilize high-power UV-C lights, however, the best option for most schools is the tripod-style light unit. With delayed start and remote control, this is a true “set it and forget it” solution for janitorial staff.
The tripod can be placed in the next room to be cleaned and turned on, emitting a powerful light to neutralize germs as the janitor cleans the room sanitized last. Once done, the tripod is moved to the next room, and the newly sanitized room is cleaned by staff who know the air they are breathing and the surfaces they are touching have been sanitized.
Air purification: many germs are transferred through droplets that can stay suspended in the air for hours! HEPA filters remove many of these potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria particles, but HEPA filters require changing, where they can expose janitorial staff to potential illness and infection. Our solution is a clear winner. We pair the filtration power of HEPA filtration with UV-light sanitation. Positioned on either side of the filter, this ensures that microorganisms in the air are destroyed, purifying the air within classrooms, and protecting janitorial staff.
Want to know more about how UV- C light can help your students and staff stay safe? View out Education Solutions here, and contact Tom for a custom sales proposal at Tom@ConnectUV.com.