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Schuylkill prepares for trials

An air purification technology that claims to be highly effective at inactivating the virus that causes COVID-19 has been installed at the Schuylkill County Courthouse.

The units are in courtroom number one and seven where the jury trials are held. A unit is also in hearing room B.

“You can’t ask for anything better than this,” Gregory Gray, a co-owner of Hydro-Therapeutics, Schuylkill Haven said.

Gray gave a presentation to county commissioners, President Judge William E. Baldwin and County Administrator Gary Bender. The county has 10 of the units, Bender said which were paid for from the general fund.

The units retail for $1,499 but the county received a discount. An exact price was not provided. Units, which are plugged into electric outlets, are also in the Office of Senior Services building.

Measuring 11.75 inches high, 9.5 inches wide and 10 inches deep and weighing 9 pounds each, the technology by ActivePure Technologies, LLC is “activated by a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light, oxygen and humidity are extracted from the air to create a host of powerful oxidizers that target air and surface pollution. These oxidizers are extremely effective at destroying bacteria, volatile organic compounds and other environmental contaminants,” according to information from the company.

Hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyls, an oxidizer, are created by the technology, according to the company. The unit can cover 24,000 cubic feet or 3,000 square feet.

The technology has been on the market for 10 years, the company said. The University of Texas Medical Branch conducted a study previously that found it “inactivated over 99.9 percent of highly concentrated airborne SARS-CoV2 virus in an enclosed setting in just three minutes,” the company said in a statement.

Locally, the technology is in use at the Lincoln Intermediate Unit 29 in all the classrooms, the St. Joseph Center for Special Learning, a homeless shelter in the county, 18 Boyer’s Food Markets Inc, the high school, middle school and elementary school of the Schuylkill Haven Area School District and other locations, Gray said.

Bender said the technology isn’t a substitute for complying with guidelines during the pandemic.

“We have these units in here (speaking of the courthouse) that doesn’t mean you can walk in here and take your mask off,” Bender said.

Gray agreed.

“It’s an added layer (of protection,)” he said.

Baldwin said the technology is a good thing.

“We have the ability to make it safer for people coming into jury duty,” he said.

Gregory Gray, a co-owner of Hydro-Therapeutics, Schuylkill Haven shows the ActivePure Technologies air purifier. AMY MARCHIANO/TIMES NEWS