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East County Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 3 months ago

Myakka puts COVID-19 grants to work

Giving Alliance of Myakka City will offer use of a new decontamination system to schools, organizations and businesses.
by: Brendan Lavell Staff Writer

Thanks to a $15,000 grant courtesy of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Giving Alliance of Myakka City has purchased an Aeroclave RDS 3110 decontamination system.

It will be used by the community to disinfect rooms that might have been exposed to COVID-19 and to disinfect spaces before and after large gatherings.

“The whole CARES Act, for us, has been phenomenal because we've been able to provide for the community something that we may not have otherwise been able to do,” said Rose Riggle, the director of the Giving Alliance. “I think it's very valuable, not only right now, but with the uncertainty of the future, to have something like this in our possession.”

The Giving Alliance will offer use of the RDS 3110 to Myakka City schools, organizations and businesses. For example, if a school learns a student tested positive for COVID-19 and wants to decontaminate classrooms that were exposed, the school can contact the Giving Alliance and have the machine delivered. The same goes if an organization such as the Myakka City Historical Society hosts an event with dozens of people and wants to be precautious about having employees go back to work in the same vicinity.

To decontaminate a room, one sets the RDS 3110 on the floor or a tripod and checks the chart on the inside of its lid to determine how long the machine needs to run based on the size of the target area. The operator then starts the machine and leaves the room, allowing the RDS 3110’s nozzles to spray disinfectant into the air until it has thoroughly cleaned the area. A hand application can be used to disinfect smaller areas or specific objects.

The AeroClave RDS 3110 will be used by the Myakka community to disinfect rooms that may have been exposed to COVID-19 and as a precaution to disinfect spaces before and after large gatherings.

The RDS 3110 is being stored at Myakka City Fire Department Station 2 on State Road 70 for the next few weeks while members of the department and Giving Alliance volunteers are trained to use it. Myakka City Fire Chief Daniel Cacchiotti already was familiar with the machine because Manatee County has one it uses to decontaminate every ambulance once per week. Once training is complete, the Giving Alliance will take possession of the new RDS 3110 and store it at an undisclosed location.

“When COVID started, they were talking about the progression it was going to take and everybody talked about the second wave coming through,” Cacchiotti said. “And when we discussed that, we said, ‘If this second wave happens, we need to be prepared.’ So it might seem like we're buying a lot of stuff right now. But if we get that second wave, then we are ready.”

Brendan Lavell is a general assignment reporter for the Observer. He earned degrees in journalism and history at the University of Missouri. He has visited 48 of the 50 United States, has a black cat named Arya and roots for the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers and Chelsea FC.

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