High-tech ventilation system kills COVID-19 in Erie County tech school

ERIE COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) — Learning about the latest technology is nothing new for students at Erie Huron Ottawa Vocational Education Center in Milan, Ohio, also known as EHOVE.

But when several students contracted COVID-19, 90 of them currently under quarantine, and even with safety measures in place, Superintendent Chris McCully says there wasn’t a fool-proof way to prevent the virus from spreading even more.

“We’re a career center that serves approximately 900 high school students, right around 400 to 500 adult ed students,” McCully said. “It’s very difficult to teach career technical education without hands on experience.”

Now they’re using an aggressive approach to fight the virus. Using Federal Cares Act money, the vocational school installed a Needlepoint, a Bi-Polar Ionization System to kill airborne viruses and bacteria, including the flu and COVID

The patented technology helps clean the air by producing a high-concentration of ions, delivered through the school’s ventilation system.

Brian Wagner is the president of CCG Automation, based in Richfield, Ohio, the company that installed the system at EHOVE.

“When this goes into the air stream, it is going to fill the room and it is going to clean everything in the room. And it has proven to work. If we measure it and our ion count is up, we know that our pathogen count is down,” he said.

The system is also being used in hospitals, office spaces and private homes. EHOVE is one of the first schools in Northeast Ohio to install the technology.

McCully adds, “We’re not letting our guard down. Masks are on, social distancing in place, all the safety protocols that we started from day one will be well enforced throughout this entire pandemic with our without the system.”

The project, installed in October, cost $240,000. Certified testing has shown that it kills 99% of pathogens within minutes.

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