High School principal builds COVID-killing machine

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VERNON, Fla. (WMBB) — To stop the spread of coronavirus, Vernon High’s principal is using a video cart, an air compressor, and a spray paint gun.

Combined with sanitizing solution, this COVID-killing machine will serve as an aid to keep Vernon High students safe when returning for the fall semester.

Brian Riviere, Vernon High School Principal, said he can’t take credit for the design but he did put the time in to build one for his school.

“A concept was shared with me from one of our EMS directors, Mr. Joey Tharp,” Riviere said. “When I learned what they were doing with it to clean and sanitize the jails and each ambulance that carried anybody that might have been symptomatic I knew that would be something that we needed in the school.”

Riviere said he got to work and modified the design a bit to make sure it was the best fit for his school. After completion, he shared the outcome with Washington County Superintendent, Joseph Taylor who liked it so much, he asked Riviere to build one for their sister school, Chiply High.

After the Washington County district saw the design, they funded a project to build eight more. He said from top to bottom, one machine costs about $325.00.

“If a school for example already has these audio video carts, then you don’t need to purchase this piece,” Riviere said. “Everything else is less than $285.00.”

The sanitizing device is pretty simple — it includes a portable air compressor, a hose reel, a line that connects the hose reel to the compressor, a spray painting gun, and CDC approved sanitizing solution.

“Do your homework on the disinfectant,” Riviere said. “The CDC released a 67 page PDF that lists every product that they’ve certified will kill human coronavirus.”

Riviere said, in addition to the disinfectant being effective in killing the virus, the spraying method works better than using wipes — and it cuts down on human contact and waste.

“You have the ability to spray any surface,” Riviere said. “This allows you to do that from a distance.”

Riviere said, because the spray works on almost anything, they aren’t limited to using it on hard surfaces.

“We’ve sprayed shoulder pads, we’ve sprayed volleyballs, cleats, lockers, our entire weight room from the floor to the roof, and every summer school classroom space once our students leave,” Riviere said.

Riviere said, on a typical day, their students would occupy about 25 classrooms. He said the machine will definitely cut down on sanitization time.

“When you can from a distance and spray these areas and not physically wipe, it’s going to be a benefit to speed and efficiency,” Riviere said. “The product we are using, will not bleach and will not dye any surface or clothing.”

Riviere said if students and teachers want to wear a mask, they will be provided one by the school.

“We haven’t seen a lot of these students since March,” Riviere said. “We’re ready to get them back, and we will be ready for August 12. We will have a schedule, a purpose, and a plan in place for every student.”

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