Wayne County jails installing air purifiers aimed to kill COVID-19 particles

Posted at 10:19 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 10:19:14-05

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Wayne County Sheriff's Office is installing air purifiers in all three of its jail divisions that are aimed to kill COVID-19 particles.

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This is the first correctional facility in the United States to install air quality technology to defend against COVID-19.

The Integrated Viral Protection Biodefense Indoor Air Protection System destroys COVID-19 and anthrax spores "instantaneously." It has approval by the FDA for sale during the pandemic for emergency use.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 135 inmates within the Michigan Department of Corrections have died from COVID-19.

The WCSO has acquired 12 large units for "highly trafficked" areas and 10 room units, which are mobile. An estimated 816 personnel work in the three jails and administrative buildings with roughly 1,018 inmates in physical custody.

"Ensuring the health and safety of our personnel, clerical staff and inmate population is our highest priority," said Sheriff Raphael Washington in a press release. "The pandemic has challenged us to take every precaution possible and these systems are just another tool we can use to maintain that commitment to reducing health threats now and in the future. It is likely mitigation efforts are here to stay."

Wayne County Jail's COVID-19 protocols have been held up by the CDC as an "example of excellence."

"Sadly, Sheriff Napoleon succumbed to COVID-19 in December. But prior to his passing, he continuously researched options for increasing health safety, and I know he would have insisted this ground-breaking technology be installed to enhance mitigation efforts throughout the organization," said Sheriff Washington. "We will continue pursuing every option available until this health threat is eliminated."

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