Updated: 5 days ago
Cleaning (using soap or detergent to manually remove germs on surfaces) and disinfection (using chemicals to kill or inactivate bacteria and viruses AFTER a surface has been cleaned) have become standard practice for school districts across the country, and the world. COVID-19 was the unfortunate motivation to increase most school district’s understanding of how to stop the spread of bacteria and virus, but now, as vaccination numbers increase and COVID numbers decrease, those lessons will serve well to deal with some things that are also preventable, but have almost become accepted and expected every year. Illnesses like colds, flu, Norovirus (“stomach bug”), MRSA, staph infections and the like. All public health issues that keep school desks empty and hospital beds full, and all things that are very preventable. All those missed days in the classroom affect both student’s education engagement as well as school funding and we need to continue to heed the lessons learned last year as we move into the next. Cleaning is necessary. Disinfection is necessary. And according to the CDC and other research, BOTH are necessary to best reduce spread of harmful bacteria and viruses- particularly on the high-touchpoint areas like tablets, seat-backs, door knobs, keyboards, etc…. But surfaces aren’t the only areas that need to be addressed.
Researchers in the journal Science raised the need to improve indoor air quality and ventilation in schools as a key factor in significantly reducing virus spread as well. If we can reduce aerosolized virus particles circulating through the air, then we can effectively reduce the spread of many common illnesses. Our own research by Dr. Chris Truitt and his team here at GermBlast has led us to needlepoint air ionization as a significant solution to poor indoor air quality in schools. In a nutshell, needlepoint bipolor ionization creates a high concentration of - and + ions. Pathogens, smoke, dust, dander, mold, pollen and pollutants passing through your existing HVAC system are drawn to these ions and form bonds. What this really does is makes what used to be millions of subatomic particles that were almost impossible to filter into larger conglomerated particles that your existing filters can catch, and the ions remove hydrogen particles as well, killing the pathogens themselves. The particular solution we utilize doesn’t create ozone, is easy to install in your existing HVAC system and requires very little, if any, maintenance.
So, we need to keep up the good work with cleaning and disinfection, but we also need to take a good look at our approach to indoor air quality.
We’re always available for a phone call or email if you have any questions. At GermBlast we take our responsibility as experts and industry leaders seriously and we’re happy to share that knowledge in our mission of keeping the fight OUTSIDE the body.
Rodney Madsen is a founder partner and CEO of GermBlast. In addition to being an epidemiologist, Rodney has over 20 years of healthcare experience.