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Hospital uses high-tech machines to disinfect COVID-19 patient rooms

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ROCKY MOUNT — To combat the coronavirus, Nash UNC Health Care has implemented new and enhanced cleaning methods, including the use of UV disinfection in all COVID-19 treatment areas.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Environmental Services Department at Nash UNC Health Care has kept the same high standards for cleaning and disinfecting our facilities, while staying up-to-date with new technology and procedures for enhanced disinfecting,” said Chris Whittemore, director of environmental services at Nash UNC Health Care. 

Whittemore said the hospital purchased an additional UV disinfection machine in an effort to combat the virus and keep the facilities safe.

“UV disinfection is the process of using ultraviolet light to kill any bacteria or viruses left on surfaces,” Whittemore said. 

He explained that UV light has the capability to kill bacteria, mold, fungi and viruses without the use of harmful chemicals. 

“UV disinfection is not new to Nash, as we have been using this technology for almost four years. Currently, when a patient is discharged from the hospital, the EVS team will complete a thorough clean. If it was a COVID-19 patient, we also run the UV machine,” he said.

The machines are also used in rooms of patients with airborne isolation precautions and patients experiencing C-Diff, a type of infection that can be spread easily through direct and indirect contact with contaminated areas, according to Whittemore.

“Patients are at the heart of everything we do here at Nash and this community is very important to us. We have adjusted our processes to work with the presence of COVID-19 cases in our hospital and are committed to making sure that all of our patients, staff and visitors are safe at all times,” Whittemore said. “This includes following CDC guidelines on wearing correct personal protective equipment, using EPA-approved chemicals at all times and completing UV disinfection on all COVID-related rooms.”