Sunnyside schools using hospital grade spraying to keep students safe

Posted at 4:02 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 15:40:33-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Sunnyside district says it'll be ready in the fall no matter what's happening with COVID-19.

The custodial staff is busy spraying nearly every inch of every school.

They're using FDA approved hospital grade chemicals to do an electrostatic disinfection.

That means the electrical charge sticks to everything in a classroom. "And kills viruses and germs that are on that material. We can put that right over paper, we do the walls, we do that hallways -- every part of the school we can do," said Carlos Valdez, district Director of Maintenance and Transportation.

The mist sinks into every crevice. And the misting machine, he says, is a serious time saver.

"It takes what would be very labor intensive by having to spray the entire school with one or two or even 10 people with a spray bottle. Now we can do a whole classroom in a matter of minutes." said Valdez.

And an entire school in just one day.

The district already had a few machines and now they're buying more using federal Cares Act funds.

Each machine costs $3,700 and the district buys the chemicals at $26 per gallon.

Valdez says, "A one gallon bottle of the disinfectant will cover 9,000 square feet so try to cover 9,000 square feet with a spray bottle -- hand cranked -- and try to get into every crevice and kill as fast and working as hard as we are."

The estimated yearly cost to spray all the schools, buses, and playgrounds is $600,000.

"I think what parents need to know is we're doing everything we possible can to ensure the safety of our students as they come to our buildings and our sites," said Valdez.

Valdez says staff uses a black light scan to check whether the virus has been killed.

He says other districts are also interested in buying the machines.