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Denver school district installing disinfecting lights on school buses for COVID-19

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Denver Public Schools (DPS) plans to install disinfecting lights on its school buses to help combat COVID-19 as students attend in-person classes.

The school district added VioSafe disinfecting lights designed to kill germs on surfaces to 10 of its buses on Tuesday, the Denver Post reported. DPS aims to add the lights to every of its 325 buses by January, amounting to a $400,000 cost financed with funds from the CARES Act.

“We’re limited in what we can do on our buses, so the disinfecting lights were a sound investment,” DPS spokesperson Winna MacLaren told the newspaper.

The school district at this time will only put up the lights in buses and not other locations. 

Tim Mickey of McCandless Bus Center worked out the deal with DPS and told the Post that the 7-inch circular lights each cover a 12-foot radius and kill 90 percent of germs. 

“Those LED lights work off 400 to 405 nanometer lighting scale,” he said. “What that means is it’s 100 percent safe light that you can be exposed to 24/7.”

The school district would become the first in Colorado to install the lights on all of its buses, although Greeley-Evans School District 6 was the first to buy the buses that had these lights. 

DPS has instituted several alterations to busing in order to help keep the virus from spreading, including requiring drivers and students to wear masks, allowing one student per seat unless they are traveling with a sibling and sanitizing the bus between routes and at the end of the day. 

The school district is mostly remote, but teaching those through second grade and those with specialized education in person.

Colorado’s capital has seen a steady increase of cases since March, with a sharper rise starting at the end of October. In total, the city documented 25,275 cases and 482 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The city reached its highest record of new cases in a single day last Friday with 613 new COVID-19 cases. 

The lights’ installation comes as the number of new cases in the U.S. has reached record-setting levels and public health officials are warning that this winter could be devastating.

Tags Colorado Coronavirus COVID-19 Denver Denver Public Schools disinfecting lights Pandemic school buses schools

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