Portage Public Schools use new machine to disinfect

Portage Public Schools use new machine to disinfect. (Matt Loughrin WWMT)

Portage Public Schools closed on Friday, and spent the day doing extensive disinfecting to prevent the spread of flu, but what a spray bottle and good old-fashioned scrubbing did is now being done by machine.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Ron Herron says the disinfecting of schools is incredibly important given the 2018 deadly flu outbreak.

He said, “We should take every opportunity if we have it to do that.”

Herron says the district’s sick numbers are not bad, but he wants to keep it that way.

Friday’s snowy, slick weather combined with flu concerns helped him come to the conclusion that the district was better off closing for the day.

The district obtained a new machine last week to help get the job done. Using the Clorox Total 360 staff can spray 18,000 sq. ft. per hour, killing germs faster and saving in labor costs.

Portage Public Schools Facilities Manager Allen Shearer says the machine, “Puts an electronic charge on the molecules which wraps around, and it will actually go right under the tabletops.”

The machine can coat areas that humans can’t reach and can be used on hard and soft surfaces. It takes only two minutes to kill any virus or bacteria.

The district also used the system on the school buses.

“There’s areas and spots that you can work forever and never get disinfected,” Shearer said, "And with this product hopefully we can.”

Shearer says very few districts in West Michigan have this flu-fighting tool. He believes the $5,000 investment is well worth it.

He said, “You’ve got to have some sort of defense program, and I think this is the best right now.”

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