Since the pandemic is showing no signs of leaving our lives anytime soon, different organizations are adopting different measures to fight it in their own ways. And, the age-old UV technology is clearly coming out to be one of the best. With sporting events halted for quite some time now, various teams, stadiums and facilities are turning to UV Disinfection devices in order to provide a safer environment to their players and public alike.
In October this year, Carolina Panthers of NFC South, in their series ‘Road to Restart’ stressed upon the need to use UV-based devices in order to keep their facility free of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They are using not only big robots but also small UV mobile devices to disinfect player pads, cleats and helmets after every practice.
“We started using robots to disinfect locker rooms, the weight room, rehab areas and offices during the camp, and we have expanded their use throughout the building and throughout the stadium,” said Eddie Levins, director of security and infectious control officer for the Carolina Panthers and Bank of America Stadium. "We can use it in suites, using it in any public space where we need a quick down-and-dirty sanitization. We clean it, and then we disinfect it so it's ready to go, so people can feel safe coming in here again."
Another NFL Team, Denver Broncos is following in the footsteps by deploying UV-based cabinets to disinfect anything from a rack of footballs to a tackling dummy or sets of dumbbells – it helps to sanitize the equipment from all angles from bacteria and viruses.
As reported by Forbes, the Broncos are testing the UVC-based technology as part of a pilot program. They are using it mainly in their equipment storage area. Staff can bring equipment in from the field, run a cycle, then bring the equipment back onto the field in a matter of minutes; each cycle is logged via a digital tag and stored in a cloud-based platform to ensure proper use, tracking and disinfection frequency.
Highlighting the chemical-free aspect of UV disinfection, Senior Vice President of Operations, Chip Conway, who is at the forefront of safety measures for the Broncos told Forbes, “We spray a lot of chemicals in the weight room, so if we can lessen that amount we’re spraying and breathing in, I think it would be better for everyone. I definitely see the benefit of UVC and the studies I’ve seen are very encouraging. … It’s definitely something that I think we’re on the tip of the iceberg of finding different areas to use it in. I definitely see it expanding for sure.”
Not far behind are the Miami Dolphins, who are directly targeting the air they breathe. Efforts are being made to retrofit the team’s facility with a series of UVC lights and air sanitizing troffers that are believed to eliminate virtually all of the coronavirus in the environment.
By adopting such measures, the teams are not only able to restart their practice but also welcome back their fans, though in limited number, to enjoy watching their favorite players back in action.
Where a lot of organizations around the country are operating from home, sports facilities are perhaps one of the very few that don't have that possibility. In such a scenario, germicidal UV technology that is proving its mettle through innumerous research studies and pilot programs is light at the end of the tunnel.