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Pennington County installs new air purifiers to fight COVID-19

These systems were placed in many HVAC units across Pennington County.
These systems were placed in many HVAC units across Pennington County.(Connor Matteson)
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 5:34 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, also known as HVAC systems, and inside these are more than thirty-five ionization bars.

“They clean the air is what they do. They positively and negatively charge all dust particles, pollen, anything floating in the air," says Assistant Director for Buildings and Grounds Dave Eccleston.

These air purifiers were installed in buildings like the Pennington County Jail, the Public Safety Building, and the courthouse. The purpose? To kill pathogens like COVID-19.

“The ionization bars will deactivate the virus up to 88% in 15 minutes, it will deactivate the virus up to 99.4% in thirty minutes," says Eccleston.

The goal is to help stop the spread of the virus, especially in close quarters.

But there are other positives to the ionization bars.

“In the long run, this will hopefully also save us some energy money because we can reduce some of the outdoor air that we’re bringing in to flush the virus out. That’s what we initially did so now we’re going back and reducing by a little bit the outside air we’re bringing in," says Eccleston.

He says by reducing the germs in the air, county employees may use fewer sick days as well.

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