Dublin school credits machine for preventing a Covid outbreak

The machines convert oxygen in a room to ozone, a chemical that kills Covid in the air.

A school in Dublin has credited a machine that disinfects classrooms for preventing a Covid outbreak since the start of the pandemic.

The deputy principal of Hartstown Community School, a 1,100-student school, said it has not had a single outbreak.

The school was among the first in Ireland to use ozone disinfecting machines to sanitise the air and surfaces of classrooms.

While it experienced a small number of positive cases, the virus was not transmitted within the co-ed school.

Vice principal at Hartstown Community School Natalie Clince (Gareth Chaney/Collins)

Its comes as schools prepare for the rollout of C02 machines, which identify air contamination.

The machines convert oxygen in a room to ozone, a chemical that kills Covid in the air.

It is only used when no-one is inside the room, and the school said it can be used during lunchbreaks.

Deputy principal Natalie Clince said: “Funding for C02 monitors from the Department is a welcome boost for schools as management teams have a huge duty of care to students and staff.

“Safety is the priority and using the ozone machines, alongside existing protocols, has given us that extra level of reassurance.

“We have been very lucky and we can confidently say the virus has not been transmitted within our school.

“We had a very small number of individual cases but it never moved within the school and we pride ourselves on that.

“We believe this is a result of the ozone machines working in tandem with the other public health measures we implemented.”

The mobile ‘plug and play’ devices, distributed by Dublin-based Sanity System, use ozone gas to purify the air and surfaces of schools, workplaces, hospitality venues or vehicles.

The procedure then reverses itself to remove any remaining ozone so the premises or vehicle can be used as soon as the process finishes.

Hartstown Community School began using the devices when schools returned following the first lockdown.

“We felt confident and comfortable using them to ensure the safety of staff and students,” said Ms Clince.

“They are so easy to use from a staff perspective, as soon as the students leave, the caretakers can use them in different rooms.

“You can use them during lunchbreaks and the class can be occupied afterwards. These machines run on a cycle and don’t need to be topped up or refilled.”

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