MTA Launches First Ever Pilot with UVC Proven to Kill COVID-19

MTA Launches First Ever Pilot with UVC Proven to Kill COVID-19

MTA Launches First Ever Pilot with UVC Proven to Kill COVID-19

The agency has been working with PURO, the Denver-based startup company that developed the devices, since March to determine the potency of the light technology.

UVC light - a shorter wavelength of ultraviolet light - is sometimes used to disinfect hospital operating rooms and is considered a proven and effective technique for eliminating viruses, according to the MTA.

"We understand people have been cooped up and are going to want to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, but [mass transit] remains for essential workers and those making essential trips only", said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye said in a statement Thursday.

The lamps will be used during the overnight shut down on subway trains and periods where transit is out of service. The first phase will focus on the rolling stock of cars, stations and yard areas, the MTA said, as well as occupational facilities, crew rooms and other shared areas.

"It's been known for more than 100 years, in fact, that UV light is incredibly efficient at killing both viruses and bacteria", said David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University and adviser on the project, in a video streamed during a Tuesday press conference.

"To our knowledge", Foye said, "This is the first reported test of this kind".

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Preliminary results released earlier this week show that the lights have been effective in killing the coronavirus, with additional testing set to take place before the study is submitted for peer review.

"This crisis creates opportunities to bring in new technologies to solve a once-in-a-generation challenge". "It's exciting for us to be able to do this pilot at the same time that Dr. Brenner's clinical research has shown that the UVs do kill-rather efficiently-the SARS-CoV-2 virus", he said.

The MTA is urging beachgoers to stay away from its trains and buses this Memorial Day weekend.

"In this time of great uncertainty, New Yorkers need to feel safe and have the confidence to venture back into normal life", said Webb Lawrence, co-founder of PURO Lighting. This pilot is another aggressive step the MTA has taken in its nation-leading disinfecting effort to keep employees and customers safe by disinfecting the entire system every 24 hours.

Since May 6, the MTA has been closing the subway system each night, from 1 a.m.to 5 a.m., in order to accommodate a full sanitization of the agency's fleet on a daily basis. So far, over 120 MTA employees have died from the virus.

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