NMU Protects Surfaces from COVID-19 July 29, 2020

In preparation for the fall semester, NMU facilities staff members are applying a unique antimicrobial coating with hospital-grade disinfectant to high-touch areas on campus. The product creates an impenetrable barrier that permanently bonds to any surface and retains its full strength in providing reactive protection against microorganisms, including COVID-19.

According to its description, MicrobeCare destroys the cell wall of microorganisms that land on a protected surface, immediately disrupting their growth and ability to reproduce. It is guaranteed non-toxic and will not wear or wash off once applied. MicrobeCare is not a replacement for routing cleaning, but will make that process more efficient and effective.

NMU facilities staff became aware of the product from a peer institution, conducted thorough research on it and arranged for an on-campus demo.

“It’s a good way to provide blanket coverage that is not harmful,” said Brandon Sager, NMU assistant director of facilities building services and sustainability. “Staff members are wearing PPE while they spray it as a precaution, but once it dries, it does not pose any danger. Even though it destroys bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae and yeast on contact, it can’t leach into skin. It is also odorless.”

A select group of facilities staff is applying the coating to high-use areas on campus using an electrostatic sprayer. The work has already been completed in “Priority A” areas such as classrooms, bathrooms, door handles, elevators, common areas and recreational equipment. The remainder of spaces, including department office areas and individual office light switches and door handles, will be completed before the fall semester begins Aug. 17.

Each NMU department office is also being provided with a Hygeia Aqueous Ozone spray bottle to sanitize their areas on a daily basis. The water-based, chemical-free product kills 99.9% or more of bacteria and common viruses within 30 seconds.

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Lauren B