A germ-killing robot in an elementary school classroom

Courtesy of Xenex

As schools around the world evaluate how to reopen safely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ruidoso Municipal School District is taking important steps to provide a safer environment for students and employees as they return to in-person learning. It is the first school system in the world to deploy Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots, which are proven to deactivate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in two minutes.  As part of their strategy to reduce the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the school district is utilizing six LightStrike robots to quickly disinfect its classrooms, offices, cafeterias, restrooms, locker rooms, gymnasiums, and more.

Manufactured by Xenex Disinfection Services, a leader in ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection for healthcare facilities, LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots use pulsed xenon to create intense bursts of broad spectrum UV light that quickly destroys viruses and bacteria that may be lurking on high-touch surfaces throughout the schools, such as desks, doorknobs, lockers, and tables. The robots require no warm-up or cool-down time, so the district is able to disinfect dozens of rooms per day (per robot). Operated by the facility’s cleaning team, the robots are currently zapping rooms in the district’s two elementary schools and will be used in its middle and high schools when they reopen and students are able to return to campus.

LightStrike robots were primarily used in healthcare facilities prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but as a result of the robot’s speed and efficacy against the novel coronavirus, they are now deployed in office buildings, schools, hotels, professional sports facilities, police stations and jails, airports, convention centers, and other places where contamination and disease transmission is a concern. Healthcare facilities (including the Mayo Clinic and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center) have published more than 40 peer-reviewed studies validating the efficacy of the LightStrike robot technology.

In addition to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the LightStrike robots have been proven effective against common pathogens that lurk on surfaces in schools such as influenza, MRSA, and norovirus.

“We want to do everything possible to provide our students and employees with the safest possible environment, and the LightStrike robots are a vital part of our reopening and ongoing safety protocols,” said Dr. George Bickert, superintendent of the Ruidoso Municipal School District. “We carefully evaluated the scientific evidence before investing in Xenex LightStrike robots and I feel very comfortable having students in the classrooms after the robots have disinfected those areas.” 

“LightStrike robots are the most powerful UV robots in the world and we are honored to be part of the Ruidoso School System’s reopening strategy,” said Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex. “The investment Ruidoso has made in LightStrike technology will continue to help them well into the future, as the robot is also effective at deactivating staph and the flu virus, which are frequently problematic for schools.”