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Livingston schools using new mobile tool amid flu season, coronavirus concerns

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BATON ROUGE - In the middle of flu season, and as coronavirus concerns grow, schools in Livingston Parish are working hard to keep classrooms germ-free.

They are using a new mobile tool to give them an advantage in that fight. That tool is a Clorox 360 electrostatic sprayer. There are currently 18 sprayers circulating through 47 campuses in the parish. School leaders say that it has turned out to be a big help in keeping both students and teachers healthy.

Custodian Cynthia Weil’s usual Friday routine consists of going from classroom to classroom at Juban Parc Elementary School with the machine. She sprays down seats, desks, doorknobs, pencils, and everything else students may touch. Weil is able to sanitize these surfaces in record time with her handy sprayer.

"What makes it special is it's an electrostatic sprayer. In other words, when it sprays, it eclectically charged, and it covers surfaces completely,” Livingston Parish Public Schools superintendent Joe Murphy said.

Murphy says the fleet of machines were purchased last flu season.

"We were going through a pretty heavy flu season in Livingston Parish,” Murphy said.

The CDC states that overall flu activity for children is up compared to past years. Principal Lauren Kennedy says this is the first year that Juban Parc Elementary has used the sprayer, and she's already seeing a difference.

"We've seen a great decrease in sickness this year from our end,” Kennedy said.

Schools are using the machines in addition to disinfecting classrooms by hand.

"But when we do have the machine, we make sure we get every surface at our school. Water fountains, bathrooms, our cafeteria is done,” Kennedy said.

Officials say they're ready to start spraying schools more frequently as more cases of coronavirus spread across the U.S. and closer to Louisiana.

"That just gives us another tool in our tool kit to help combat against all flu-like viruses including the coronavirus,” Murphy said.

"Until there's a reason to worry, I'm going to be hopeful that our current preventive measures are going to protect us from that,” Kennedy said.

So far, less than five people statewide have been tested for coronavirus. None of those tests have come back positive.


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