By Jacqueline Quynh

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The Aurora Public School District is upgrading classrooms to keep students safe against COVID-19 and other viruses. The technology will look familiar, like a ceiling fan, only much more powerful than the eye can see.

(credit: CBS)

“Started when we did the project. About 2000 to 2006 was the timeframe in Rwanda, at Butaro Hospital, and that was to combat tuberculosis,” said Alex Risen with Big Ass Fans.

Installation for the fans should be completed by the end of January at the following schools:

  • East Middle School
  • Aurora Central High School
  • Columbia Middle School
  • Aurora West CPA
  • Gateway High School
  • North Middle School
  • Rangeview High School
  • South Middle School

What makes the fans unique is that they have a special light.

“You can’t see UV wavelength, especially the UV-C, that’s the peak germicidal wavelength to kill pathogens,” Risen explained.

Alex Risen (credit: CBS)

The company estimated the cost so far at $250,000.

“We actually did test it, it was at Innovative Bio Analysis which is a company out in California, they’re a bio-safety level 3 lab, so they’re capable of handling the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen,” he said.

The circulation of air and the light should help to kill coronavirus, but students may still need to take precautions.

“One of those variables is some level of masking,” he added.

Once installed, the fans could also help prevent the spread of viruses such as influenza.

CBS4 looked up recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not only does the agency recommend good ventilation to minimize infection, but their website said, “Consider using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation as a supplement to help inactivate SARS-CoV-2, especially if options for increasing room ventilation are limited.”

The fans are available for commercial, as well as residential use. For more information, visit the company’s website.

Jacqueline Quynh