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    A Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping robot is pictured using a UV light to disinfect a holding room at the DeWitt County Jail.

DCSO purchases germ-zapping robots to combat COVID-19 

By Allison Flores

The Cuero Record

Remaining proactive about the safety of the DeWitt County Jail’s inmates amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheriff Carl Bowen and the DCSO were able to purchase two Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping robots. Nicknamed Katelyn and Ruby, the robots are no less exciting than their generic names.

As the Xenex website states, the robots use pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light to enhance traditional room cleaning procedures. Sheriff Bowen explained that the robots can be moved from room to room to clean and disinfect within five minutes.

“After a primary cleaning,” said Bowen, “the robot is pushed in the room and runs for a cycle–it uses ultraviolet light and kills tuberculosis, flu, and COVID-19.”

He continued, “They are used primarily in hospitals–a jail setting is unusual for it, but it’s not unheard of and this type of jail is perfect for it. We will also be using it at [the courthouse]. We have a trial that’s coming up in September, so after court is over, we will be going in and disinfecting. This is just another effort to keep this virus at bay–we’ve been very fortunate, we haven’t had any COVID-19 cases in the jail.”

The two robots cost approximately $180,000 collectively, and, as Bowen mentioned, didn’t cost the taxpayers a dime.

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