Three Cobb County elementary schools are testing three products the school district hopes will help them keep the coronavirus from thwarting its reopening plan.
Designed to make classrooms and other areas safer for teachers and students, the products debuted Wednesday at Bryant, Belmont Hills and Argyle elementary schools, the Cobb County School District said in a news release.
Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said the new technological systems “were necessary before and definitely are now."
“One day, COVID-19 will be in the rearview mirror, but health and safety will remain a priority in our schools and classrooms,” he said.
One product, Iggy, is a hand-rinsing device that incorporates a low concentration of aqueous ozone in the stream of water it sprays onto a user’s hands. According to 30e Scientific, the company behind Iggy, aqueous ozone has been shown to neutralize some viruses and bacteria. Machines emitting the spray will be installed at high-traffic entry points at the three schools.
Another product, Cleanz222, uses low-voltage ultraviolet light to sterilize classrooms during overnight hours. The device, created by ProTek Life, runs each night for an hour to clean surfaces of bacteria, viruses and other germs.
SymTem, a COVID-19 screening app developed by InfoMart, can be installed on a user’s phone. Once the user answers some questions and logs their temperature, the app generates a digital badge indicating if a person can enter the building or should stay home. Users would log their information in the app before entering the school building.
A Cobb County schools spokesman said the district will evaluate the products through the school year before determining if they will be expanded to other schools. The products being tested have cost the district less than $200,000.
The technology was unveiled two weeks after Cobb County schools began the first phase of its reopening plan, allowing elementary school students and special needs students through 12th grade to return to campus. Sixth through eighth-grade students were allowed to return to their middle schools Monday as part of the second reopening phase. High school students can return starting Nov. 5.
Students, educators and staff are required to wear masks or face coverings on school buses, in buildings and in classrooms. Social distancing guidelines are in effect, and student desks are spaced to minimize contact. Hand sanitizing stations are in multiple locations throughout schools and district staff will do daily cleaning practices in buildings and on buses.