Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

A new way to clean classrooms

Malta School to use UV tech to help fight COVID


August 26, 2020

A closer look at the control panel for the Cello Lighting UV Cart. Courtesy Photo.

Thanks to the use of ultra-violet (UV) light technology, time and money will be saved this school year.

Malta Public Schools is set to open its district on Wednesday, August 26. With classroom and school work areas needing to be sanitized daily due to the threat of COVID-19, a little help was needed. Thus, the district will be using UV Carts that will disinfect rooms throughout the 2020-21 school year.

"Kris Kuehn (former Malta Public Schools Superintendent) had chosen this do the disinfecting of all of the classrooms, halls, gymnasium, and any other place that there are people because of the efficiency of the UV light," Malta Superintendent Matt Genger said. "We just can't leave anything to chance."

The UV Carts and other disinfectant devices, including foggers, were paid for by the district's COVID Relief Funding provided by the state. The district was given $206,000 to help with any area related to the virus.

Genger said that the principals are setting up cleansing schedules for each classroom to be sanitized by the carts.

In all, the district has 20 of these electric-powered carts made by Cello Lighting. Each cart uses 300 watts to power ultra-violet bulbs to sanitize the area. Exposure to the lighting will kill bacteria in classrooms within the span of an hour or less, depending on classroom size. According to the manual, the cart will sanitize a 400 square foot room in 15 minutes, an 800 square foot room in 30 minutes, a 1200 square foot room in 45 minutes, and a 1600 square foot room in an hour.

The Cello LightingUV Cart that help disinfect classrooms throughout the Malta School district. Photo by Pierre Bibbs.

"There are safety precautions for the operator to use," Genger said. "There are manuals that our custodians will use."

No one will be allowed in the room that is being sanitized, as being near these carts as they run will leave a dangerous sunburn and vision can be impaired, according to Genger and the product's website.

"We will have posters on doors saying, 'Do Not Enter. This room is being sanitized'," Genger said.

The UV Cart not sanitizes areas hit directly by the light, but also indirectly due to the lighting bouncing off of surfaces in the room being cleaned.

Though the carts are effective according to Genger, the school has also purchased other supplies to help keep desks clean throughout the day. Foggers will be used to sanitize bathrooms but the school hasn't received the devices yet.


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