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Tucson VA utilizing germ-zapping robots to clean hospital

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TUCSON - The Tucson VA has welcomed some unconventional new members to their staff, robots.

The robots are equipped with ultraviolet light used to kill germs that cause most hospital acquired infections.

These robots are called Xenex Lightstrike and they can disinfect a room in four to eight minutes, providing an extra level of cleanliness on top of the hospital's already thorough cleaning procedures.

These futuristic robots help to clean those areas that human hands can't reach and while we are still in the middle of a pandemic, these extra measures can make all the difference.

"We put a robot in the room to do a true disinfection of all of the surfaces in the room," said Carol Johnson, Chief of Environmental Management Service, Tucson VA.

The machines are brought into rooms after traditional cleaning has taken place to then get rid of microscopic germs and bacteria.

Veterans who use the VA's services say they're happy to know the hospital is continually improving their patients experience.

"It's wonderful to leverage current and new technology, especially with COVID, and making sure you know, all the germs are gone," said Dana Allmond, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who uses the VA services.

She added that she is pleased and happy with the new recruits because she says the leadership and staff at the VA do everything they can to keep veterans safe.

The ultraviolet light emitted by the machines is 99.99 percent effective against COVID-19, according to the manufacturer, which has led to staff members buying in on their use.

"I think it's very good because it's embraced by clinical staff to use it and it's just added security for I think everybody in general," said Johnson.

While the robots are heavily used in COVID-19 environments at the VA, they say it helps throughout the hospital and moving forward they will continue to use them to keep their hospital as safe as possible for their patients and staff.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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