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High school installs ultraviolet light system to keep students safe

Queen's Grant High School is taking extra precautions with a germicidal ultraviolet light system to protect students and faculty.

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Although the new school year is months away, plans are in the works right now to make sure the coronavirus doesn’t interrupt the classroom again.

When students return to Queen’s Grant High School in Matthews, it’ll feel a lot different.

“We’re really excited to get back, but we want to make sure we take every precaution necessary,” said Josh Swartzlander, the school’s principal.

Swartzlander says some are precautions you might expect, like extra masks on hand and temperature scanners.

“We’ve also purchased the shield masks for our staff,” Swartzlander said.

But the school also decided to take it a step further, with a germicidal ultraviolet light system.

“I just kind of said, ‘can’t hurt,’” Swartzlander said.

“Once the air goes through the system, it cleans the air,” said Raul Ortiz, the owner of Carolinas Heat and Air Services, who installed them at the school.

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Ortiz says the lights will damage the DNA of infectious agents.

“I know it kills bacteria, it kills fungus, viruses,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz says they’re typically installed in places like hospitals and clinics, but now he’s getting calls from homes and businesses.

“Schools, day cares, and a church now,” Ortiz said.

“When we deal with masks and everything like that, you really want the air to be as clean as it can be,” Swartzlander said.

Swartzlander says even with this measure, there will still be good old fashioned cleaning.

“It’s not going to replace a person going into each classroom with Clorox and making sure that the desks are cleaned and making sure the bathrooms are clean and the water fountains are sanitized,” Swartzlander said. “It’s just another thing on top of it. We’ve got to do everything possible to keep them safe.”

Ortiz says although germicidal UV lights are known to kill some infectious agents, studies are still being conducted right now to see how effective it is against the coronavirus. Of course, he says the cleaner you can keep the air, the better.