Gouverneur Hospital acquires advanced technology to disinfect for COVID-19


Gouverneur Hospital Lead Surfacide Technician Dale Jesmer prepares a room in the Emergency Department to be disinfected with the Surfacide system

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWTI) — New disinfecting technology will be implemented at Gouverneur Hospital as an additional safety measure for viruses like COVID-19.

St. Lawrence Health announced that is has acquired a Surfacide© system for its hospital facility in Gouverneur. This technology is an ultraviolet disinfection system that can clean both hospital rooms and equipment.

The system works by using three portable towers to emit powerful ultraviolet energy. This is effective against bacteria, spores and viruses, including “superbugs.” It can kill organisms on hard surfaces that include hospital bed rails, TV remotes, patient tray tables, guest chairs, countertops and bathrooms.

The Surfacide Company confirmed that it is also effective against MERS-CoV, which is the same family as SAR-CoV-2; the causation agent of COVID-19. A study led by the company found that after five minutes of exposure to the disinfection system, MERS-CoV virus levels were undetectable.

Additionally, according to Gouverneur Hospital Environmental Services and Emergency Preparedness Manger Donna Wilson, it takes the three-tower system takes approximately 25 minutes to clean room.

“The units are being used for cleaning any room that is vacated by a patient who is suspect of having COVID, Clostridioides difficile, or any other contagious disease,” said Wilson in a press release. “Surfacide can be used in the Emergency Department, Imaging areas, patient rooms – any room a patient was in who is suspect of having a highly communicable disease. The rooms are terminally cleaned first, then the units are brought in.”

SLH noted that this system will provide an additional safety measure to better protect patients against potentially deadly infections.

The first Surfacide system was acquired by St. Lawrence Health in 2018. To date, SLH has three systems in use, which have been used for COVID-19 disinfection.

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