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A new way to keep kids safe as COVID-19 cases surge in the Midlands

Several local school districts have adopted a new method for keeping students from contracting the virus.

SUMTER, S.C. — There is new technology being implemented in several school districts. FAR-UVC is the new lighting technology that helps kill COVID and more.

Christopher McKinney, Executive Director for the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments, says the new technology will be on all school buses in the county. 

"It's mounted in the middle of the bus, and the light turns on for thirty seconds, then turns off for ninety seconds, and then turns back on for thirty seconds during the entire time the bus is on," McKinney said.

The device is something several school districts like Sumter, Kershaw, Lee, and Clarendon counties have adopted. 

RELATED: Fact Sheet: COVID-19 omicron variant

Using Clarendon County as an example of the progress, McKinney said, "They saw a very big market decrease in their students who missed school due to COVID because of this one particular system, so we anticipate seeing that here." McKinney said they are still working on exact statistics, but the trend overall went down following the installation. 

Restoring our Resilient Communities You are invited to join us at Sumter High School Bus Parking Lot on January 11 at...

Posted by Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments on Friday, January 7, 2022

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McKinney said even though omicron is a more contagious variant, he does not worry about the rise in numbers with this light on their buses. "It's not only good against omicron and COVID, it's good against H1N1, and its 91.9 % effective against killing those pathogens. 

For those interested in learning more about light and how it works, there will be an information session at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 11 at the Sumter High School Bus Lot. 

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