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Businesses add technology to help protect against coronavirus

(WILX)
Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 3:32 PM EDT
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While some businesses had to close their doors because of coronavirus exposure, others are adding disinfection technology to their routines for more protection.

Midtown Brewing Company added an ozone machine to disinfect customers when they walk in.

"It's very minimal amount of ozone, but O3 is a chemical that is supposed to help kill germs and keep things down, so we have a small fan running when you come through the door. You wouldn't even notice it. We have it turned down very low. But if you happen to bring in anything with you on your clothes it's just another line of defense where we can maybe knock that off you when you come into our place," said Owner Shawn Elliot.

They've also added a UV sanitation light to their daily cleaning routine.

"We only operate it after we close so the last person out the door turns the light on and it cleans the surfaces and the area. Anything that's exposed to the UV lights, it's supposed to kill those germs," said Elliot.

Midtown Brewing Company also hires an outside cleaning team that comes in every Friday to do electrostatic spraying and other sanitation methods.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail says any additional disinfecting steps as long as used the right way can help.

"UV lights are actually fairly effective," said Vail. "We do recommend that deep cleaning overnight and so adding that UV light is probably a good additional step. Again I wouldn't want them to just use a UV light but the disinfection, the sanitation, the UV, the more we can layer things that are protective the better we are."

Associate Professor of Microbiology, Laura Harris says using ozone as a disinfectant is more complex.

"Right now it's really hard to tell if they're effective. There are some early clinical trials that think that ozone and oxygen therapy can be helpful as a treatment, but the environment protection agency says that they haven't found any evidence that these things actually work. So the verdict is still out. I really can't say right now if they are helpful but I wouldn't think that they would harm anything," said Harris.

Elliot says the new tools aren't remedies but added measures of protection to help control the unpredictable and keep staff and visitors safe.

"We're not trying to oversell what we're doing. We just read and if we find something that may be helpful and if we think it looks like there's some evidence that proves it can be helpful than we add it in. We're trying to do everything we can to stay open," said Elliot. "Anything that we can do, we feel like it's our ethical responsibility to do."

Vail says one the most important prevention methods indoors is to wear masks even when inside restaurants and to wash your hands.

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