Santa Ana school hopes LED antimicrobial lights on buses can help battle coronavirus

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A charter school is working to outfit its buses with LED antimicrobial lights which may help battle COVID-19.

Itzel Saldana says she felt weak and lost her sense of smell when she had COVID-19. But she's still not sure if she wants to get vaccinated.

"I'm just scared. Like what if something happens, you know," Saldana said.

She said she was happy to hear her school is looking for ways to help protect her against the virus.

Vista Global Academies is installing antimicrobial LED lights in its two buses.

Principal Collin Felch said Monday that one of the buses was ready to go and both would be set by the first day of school on Aug. 9.

The company that produces the lights is New York-based Vyv.

Kristin May, chief commercial operations officer of Vyv, said the technology kills bacteria and a wide range of viruses on surfaces, including the flu, common cold and the coronavirus.

"Our lighting system will kill COVID-19 and other viruses that are residing on the surfaces as our children, our staff, are coming into interaction with those surfaces," May said.

Testing is underway to see whether the lights can fight airborne viruses, but May said the system is safe.

"It is tested and certified for continuous and unrestricted use, meaning that we can live, work, play underneath the lights, at all times, with no exposure limits or any safety concerns," May said.

May said they're already in use throughout the United States by companies like Delta Air Lines, at Cal State L.A. and schools in Denver, but this charter school is the first primary school in Southern California giving them a try.

"We're getting ahead of the curve when it comes to safety instead of reacting when a case or a few cases come up because we want to make sure that our students are safe," Felch said.

"It's a good thing that they're putting it so like it could get rid of the virus and no one could get sick," Saldana said.

Felch said the goal was to eventually have these lights shining on high-touch surfaces throughout the school.

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