Huntsville City Schools Fights Flu With Help of New Disinfecting Tool

As the current influenza season continues to create challenges, Huntsville City Schools has ramped up use of a new tool it first rolled out in early December.   The device is an electrostatic sprayer created by Victory Innovations®, which functions much like a paint sprayer by applying a positive charge to particles of a disinfecting agent which are then released as a fine mist.  The positive charge causes the disinfectant to stick to surfaces it is sprayed on.  Facilities Services Director Edward Smith says, “it covers more ground and also gets into areas that are not normally cleaned.” This means that fabrics, books, and other objects or areas which are normally difficult to get to with typical wipes and sprays can now be efficiently disinfected.

The disinfectant being used with the sprayer has a health rating of zero, which means it is completely safe and hypoallergenic.

The new devices are being used alongside other preventative measures schools are already employing, such as district provided HEP Packages, which include hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and tissues.  These are usually distributed quarterly, but they are also offered on-demand when a school requests them.  Ms. Jennifer Rigney, a second-grade teacher at Whitesburg P-8, says they are using “lots of hand sanitizer, and lots of handwashing.”  She goes on to say that the custodial staff has been doing a great job wiping down high-touch areas like handrails and door knobs, while the nurse has been helping with quick “temp-checks” whenever she thinks a student might be showing symptoms.

According to Andrea Penn, the Health Services Coordinator for Huntsville City Schools, “we have nurses in each of our schools, so the clinics are ready to provide whatever care the students need.”  She goes on to say that masks have been provided for students and staff who exhibit symptoms or request them for preventative measures.  Parents can help by encouraging good hygiene and handwashing skills, which is also something teachers across the district are stressing to students.  “If your child is ill or appears ill,” adds Ms. Penn, “keep them at home.”  Ms. Penn also reminds parents that the Huntsville City Schools procedures require that a child not return to school until 24 hours after the last episode of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or other significant symptoms.

For more information, contact the Health Services Department.

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