Broken Arrow Schools Employ Machine To Tackle Flu
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - This year's deadly flu outbreak has already claimed the life of an Oklahoma educator.
And several Green Country schools have been forced to close because of the virus.
In Broken Arrow, the district ramped up disinfection and it appears to be working.
At one school where absences were rising 10 days ago, they suddenly dropped after a new tool was used to disinfect the building.
On the way to lunch at Timber Ridge Elementary, the children wash their hands and that helps stop the spread of germs.
At lunch, teachers remind them to wash again, but despite that, germs spread in a school on just about every surface.
Charlie Abbott with Broken Arrow Schools said germs can be found on doorknobs, pencil sharpeners, lockers, tables.
That's why the district bought a special machine, a device made by Clorox that sprays a disinfectant that can be used on anything.
It's an almost dry spray that spreads around and under and sticks to whatever it touches.
“Flu strep, about any type of virus, it will take care of,” said Abbot.
The district's Charlie Hannema said absences are up right now because so many students are sick.
So last week, the district bought three more of the machines to speed up classroom disinfection.
They spray every classroom once a week, and if more than a handful of kids are sick, they spray more often.
The district can't say for sure how well it works, because they always disinfected rooms, by hand.
"Basically, put the chemical in, plug it and start spraying. It's very simple to use," Abbot said.
The new system makes it easier so they're able to do more rooms, more often.
“It's about four times faster, you can watch them do it and the labor is smarter because it's quicker,” said Charlie Hannema.
Each machine costs $7,500 and Broken Arrow now has four of them to use across the district.
They take the machines where they're needed most.
At one school where a child has an immune system issue, they're spraying every night.