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Jefferson Parish Transit has unveiled a new way of combating COVID-19.

Using ultra-violet lights to kill the virus.

“I want you to feel safe getting on and off this bus, know that when you go home you’re not bringing something home to your families,” says Ninette Barrios, Jefferson Parish Transit Director.

Jefferson Parish purchased five portable light systems from a the Puro Company.

The system is used by schools and hospitals around the country, and by the New York City Transit Authority.

Jefferson Parish’s transit system is the first in the state to use the UVC lights to combat COVID-19.

Barrios says the lights aren’t just ridding the buses of COVID, but other viruses too.

“It has 100% killed everything but not only COVID, right? It’s flu season. You’re talking about COVID and everything and anything you can possibly imagine. The flu, it kills everything,” she says.

Puro’s Jim Colantoni says the list of viruses the system kills include SARS and Ebola.

The way it works is pretty simple.

“The UVC light will destroy or disrupt the DNA or RNA of a pathogen. That will stop it from replicating again. If it cannot replicate, it’s going to slowly disappear and die.,” he says.

The buses are brought in at the end of their shift and are cleaned for 30 minutes with the lights.

In addition to the lights self-cleaning “skins” are peeled off high traffic touch points, like hand rails.

“‘You have these little nano crystals that are inbedded within this fabric and they’re activated by light, any light, sunlight, bus light, anything. What it does is when it activates those nanocrystals, it self-cleans itself. 24/7, and it’s stronger than bleach,” says Barrios.

According to the maker of the skins, Nano-Septic, no heavy metals, poisons, or chemicals are released into the air, and the skins are already being used in other places around Jefferson Parish. That includes healthcare facilities, like gyms.