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MHS unveils plan to keep students safe

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Manning High School just became one of the very first high schools in the country to utilize a new sterilization technology. The technology is UVC disinfection lighting systems, and they are silent, safe, wall-mounted systems that filter air with UV lights in order to disinfect their surroundings. 

The lighting systems eliminate pathogens that cause COVID, influenza, MRSA, pink eye, tuberculosis, monkey pox, and many other illnesses. It does not “kill” the germs, as some pathogens are not true living organisms, such as viruses. Instead, the technology attacks the pathogen’s DNA and makes it useless and incapable of reproducing. Also, pathogens cannot grow immune to the lights like they can with chemicals. The lights are also utilized in many hospitals and operating rooms, including at Duke University Hospital and The Mayo Clinic.

The lights have been studied by multiple universities, such as Harvard and Columbia, and all studies have concluded that the UVC lights are safe and effective. The lights come in two strengths: 222 nanometers and 254 nanometers. Being exposed to a 222 nanometer light for three continuous years is equivalent to being in the open sun for just ten minutes. 

Each light covers 900 sq. ft. - 1,050 sq. ft. and Manning High School has 450 units at this time. There is also one unit in each school bus. The systems are completely passive. They have been installed out of reach, they make no noise, and they require very minimal maintenance. They each have a five year warranty, and will only require light bulb changes occasionally. They are also made in America and distributed and installed by a company in Wilmington, NC called USUV Clean, LLC.

The hope is that the lights will not only prevent the students from getting sick, but prevent the spread of illnesses that will affect children down the line. For example, if a child lives with their grandparents and passes on COVID or influenza, the grandparents may become much more severely ill than the child, affecting their ability to care for their grandchild.

Manning High School wishes to protect their students at all costs, and their research and belief in this product is proof of that. They hope to inspire other schools to give the UVC lights a try for the sake of their students and for disease prevention in general.

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