Killing COVID-19 with UV light, Florida Center for the Blind implements new technology at office

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 4:15 PM CDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s a ‘bright’ idea that some in north central Florida are hoping helps beat the spread of COVID-19.

The Cade Museum has already taken advantage of new ‘UV light’ technology to kill bacteria and viruses.

RELATED: Gainesville’s Cade Museum reopens in limited capacity

At the Florida Center for the Blind, they’re serving one of Ocala’s most venerable populations. That’s why they’ve implemented the same UV light technology to keep them safe against COVID-19.

In March 2020, the non-profit had to close due to the virus.

They’ve slowly brought back staff into the building and started working with students again.

A mobile UV light unit that staff recently purchased, runs a 30 minute cycle, sending a powerful flash every few seconds to disinfect the area.

“Our products use UVC, UVB and UVA, the full spectrum of UV light to basically target bacteria and viruses at the DNA and RNA level to destroy them and prevent them from being able to reproduce,” VP of Marketing for Violet Defense, Jessica Jones said.

This particular germ killing machine was created by an Orlando based company called Violet Defense.

The FDA recognizes that UV radiation has been known to successfully disinfect air, water, and nonporous surfaces, reducing the spread of bacteria including that which causes tuberculosis. And it seems to be working against the coronavirus too.

“We have already independently validated our technology against E. Coli, salmonella, MRSA, influenza, C. diff, we have already tested a lot against other pathogens that people are concerned about on a regular basis but we’ve also specifically made sure that we can handle COVID,” Jones said.

At the Florida Center for the Blind, they were able to work with the company to bring the technology to Ocala on a budget.

They said this investment is one in a million.

“Our clients typically are some of the most vulnerable people in public. We work with a lot of seniors and children. Our clients use sense of touch to explore their world, to learn their world so when we’re teaching clients in person, there’s a lot of hands on touching and they even use their hands to follow walls to feel for openings and things like that,” Program Manager, Matthew Thompson said.

They’ve only had this technology for a few weeks now but they’re already planning on adding more devices to their arsenal in the future.

“We have a training building and an administrative side so we want to be able to protect both our staff and our clients,” Thompson said.

The Florida Center for the Blind plans to fully re-open in Sept.

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