KENMORE, NY (WKWB) — The Kenmore-Tonawanda School District is using a special, high-tech device to decontaminate classrooms amid growing concerns over the coronavirus.
The sprayer allows cleaning staff to decontaminate an entire classroom in a matter of minutes.
District leaders tell 7 Eyewitness News they’ve been using the sprayers in all of its buildings throughout the cold/flu season, and has increased efforts in recent weeks because of COVID-19.
There are still no reported cases of the virus in Western New York.
Holmes Elementary School in the Town of Tonawanda is one of 12-school buildings in the Kenmore-Tonawanda Union Free School District that has extra protection for students and staff against COVID-19.
Ken-Ton director of facilities, Timothy Ames, tells 7 Eyewitness News they first started using the Protexus cordless sprayers two years ago after a third of students at one of its schools were out sick with flu.
“It has a ten minute dwell time and it will take care of of any viruses such as flu viruses or coronavirus,” Ames explained. “Talking to the principals, I meet with them every month to discuss issues within a building, and they've noticed a decline in sickness.”
The sprayer uses water and a chlorine tablet.
“They actually atomize a water and chlorine mixture and it electro statically charges the water molecules so it clings to the surfaces,” Ames demonstrated in the classroom.
The Ken-Ton district is now cleaning surfaces with the device every other day in all school buildings.
“Any touchable surfaces, locker, tabletops, desktops — chairs,” Ames noted.
Ames says it's safe to spray the teacher's computer and the district is also using it in all school buses. “We’re doing our buses every three to four days we are doing to do that again tomorrow night, but we did them last week,” Ames said.
The Ken-Ton district reported last week that it is aware of one student who recently traveled to Italy, one of the top five hot spots for COVID-19. That student is under a voluntary quarantine.
The district said it has not been notified of any individuals in its school community suspected of carrying COVID-19 or having been tested.