As schools are reopening, the number of children infected with COVID-19 is rising. Data from state health departments shows that the percentage of children infected has increased from 2.2% of all cases nationwide in April to 10% of all cases in September, and is on the rise.
Proper hand-washing, use of masks and following social distancing protocols are all important precautions taken to prevent the spread of COVD-19 and other pathogens, like those that cause the flu, in schools. However, devices are some of the most frequently touched surfaces we encounter daily, and yet, they can become an afterthought in terms of COVID-19 prevention.
Not only do kids rely on their phones to communicate with parents, many schools are using Chromebooks, tablets and other devices for students to complete classwork and assignments. Teachers might have a set of laptops for the classroom that are used by multiple students throughout the day, or computer rooms might have a set of tablets that students can borrow. These devices are constantly in use, traveling back and forth from home and school, on buses and in public spaces.
Our kids need these devices to learn and stay connected. A student’s biggest priorities should be homework assignments and fostering relationships with their peers—not worrying about whether their devices are clean and safe to use. Keeping phones, tablets and laptops clean is an important part of COVID-19 and flu prevention and another important measure to help keep students safe.
Unfortunately, devices are notoriously difficult to clean. Did you know that COVID-19 bacteria can live on laptops for up to 72 hours? Disinfecting wipes and sprays are convenient, but it is easy for students to miss or neglect to wipe every surface, like the crevices of a keyboard or the back of a tablet, making them ineffective. Improper or excessive use of disinfectant wipes and sprays can also potentially damage devices, leading to expensive replacement costs.Additionally, wipes are costly, wasteful and need to be constantly reordered and replaced. Proper device cleaning needs to be a long-term consideration, and wipes aren’t a good long-term solution.
The Power of UVC Disinfection
PowerUp’s Pure Zone UVC Disinfection Charging Carts have medical-grade UVC sanitization. It can charge a variety of devices and keep them secure while cleaning them using UVC light, so they are fully ready and safe to use whenever a student needs it. They are perfect for use in classrooms, libraries, computer labs and other convenient locations within schools. Our carts are a big-picture solution that can be useful not only during the pandemic, but also in the future to combat the common flu, colds and everyday germs.
UVC light technology has been used for decades in hospitals, labs and other medical settings. It is proven to eradicate viruses and bacteria by 99.9999%, and is especially effective at attacking airborne pathogens like COVID-19. The FDA cites that “UVC radiation has been shown to destroy the outer protein coating of the SARS-Coronvirus”. However, it isn’t commonly implemented in schools, yet.
“We have struggled in the past to see this highly effective, very safe technology fully implemented for airborne infections,” said Dr. Edward A. Nardell, a professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We’ve done the studies. We know it works.”
PowerUp’s UVC Disinfection Charging Carts use this same technology to clean devices, emitting a 254nm UV light. The cart can disinfect a device in just 5 minutes, destroying the virus at the molecular level. It doesn’t leave any residue on devices and the carts are maintenance-free. Simply set the carts up wherever they are needed, and students can begin to clean their devices, while keeping them charged.
“Ultraviolet light mangles the genetic material in pathogens—DNA in bacteria and fungi, RNA in viruses—preventing them from reproducing. ‘You’ve killed it essentially,’ said William P. Bahnfleth, a professor of architectural engineering at Pennsylvania State University.”
We believe in taking every possible action that will help keep students safe and healthy. Our carts are a cost-effective, long-term solution that can help keep devices clean, charged and ready to use for our students.