Keith Wyatt, managing director of sterilisation specialist, UV Clean Light, says there can be no let up with infection control despite the vaccine roll-out.
Does the vaccine roll-out mean that infection control measures can start to be relaxed? The answer is a firm no. In fact, the opposite is true.
Increasingly, being able to demonstrate strategic investment in infection control will become a major differentiator for businesses in every sector. For the care home sector – continually under the spotlight since COVID emerged – the issue is more critical than ever.
Many operators can be forgiven for thinking that such investment is expensive and out of reach. The truth is very different. So, what’s out there?
Ultraviolet light is being used across the globe to combat COVID-19. Specifically, this is UV-C light energy which is not the same as the UVA used in tanning beds or UVB from sunlight exposure. The size and cost of effective UV-C light solutions has previously been prohibitive to most organisations. Now, more portable lamp solutions are being developed alongside air sterilisation units, making this a solution that can work in any situation.
UV-C kills viruses by breaking down the links in the RNA or DNA. There has never been a virus discovered that is resistant to UV-C. During 2020, studies have not only shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for COVID-19, is killed by UV-C, but we also know how much energy is required to do so. We are therefore able to design products and solutions to ensure airborne and surface viruses are killed as effectively as practically possible.
The cost of defeating COVID – £200 per room
Laura Harding owns Glenfields Care Home in Driffield, East Yorkshire. Laura recently invested in approximately 10 UV-C air sterilisation units for the site. She comments: “We have now installed air sterilisation units across our Glenfields site at a cost of approximately £200 per room. That’s a small price to pay for the safety and well-being of our residents. We’re obviously addressing an immediate challenge but the investment has been made for the long-term – we want to be as protected as possible.”
This point about long-term investment is key. Air sterilisation units will work against any new COVID strains. These units are equally effective in sterilising air from more regular winter cold and flu bugs, along with diseases such as MRSA and C.Diff.
The vaccine marks the start, not the finish
The good news is that proven, effective solutions are out there – solutions which will not break the bank and which are purpose-built for environments that are constantly occupied.
Whilst the vaccine is tremendous news, it must not be regarded as the end of the story. Rather, the sector should regard it as the shot in the arm necessary to ramp-up immediate infection control and safeguard against another 2020.