UVC lighting could be crucial in fight against COVID-19

As tens of millions of Americans try to prevent catching the coronavirus, one company is turning its talents to using high-tech to defeat the virus.
In the new war against the virus, frontline-tech could tip the balance, and render people and surfaces COVID-19 free. 
“This is something new, and it’s novel and it’s different. And it’s been tested for exactly this type of use,” said Fred Maxik.
A former NASA scientist, Maxik now heads Florida-based Healthe Lighting. The company  has developed the “Cleanse Portal.” It has the look of an airport security screening device. But the portal uses 12 to 20 seconds of exposure to a UVC light to neutralize the COVID-19 virus.
“It’s a light that will disrupt and deactivate viruses, pathogens, and bacteria, but not harm us as human beings as we pass through it. So the portal is essentially flooding us with far UVC light, and those pathogens on our clothing, our skin, our packages, are deactivated,” said Maxik.
Maxik said numerous peer-reviewed studies show this type of UVC light doesn’t penetrate the skin or eyes and is safe to use on people. It’s 90 to 99% effective in neutralizing all the pathogens, including the coronavirus.
“What’s gonna be the long-term impact? I think that’s where the risk is gonna come in if this is gonna be a daily exposure for people. There might be some long-term health risks but we don’t really know,” said Stanford University dermatologist Dr. Matt Lewis.
Many companies are springing up in the burgeoning industry of COVID-119 protection. Masks, face shields, and gloves are being joined by automation in some cases. Tracy Hospital has robots using UV rays to disinfect rooms, but, this light is harmful to people. Other companies are turning to artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
“It’s in some sense, a fad industry, it’s only gonna last a little while. Until we have enough of a vaccine, and a vaccine so that everybody who needs it can get it. But that’s gonna be quite a while,” said Dr. Robert Chapman Wood, a strategic management professor at San Jose State University.
Maxik hopes while the current need exists, his “Cleanse Portal” will help usher in the next age of normal.
“…Trying to help people get back to what a new normal is going to be. And live life in some more safety and comfort,” he said.
The portal is designed for commercial, not residential use, and comes with a current price tag of $17,000. The company is looking at other, cheaper types of disinfecting units to spur the consumer to take the plunge.