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Timothy Reese, co-owner of Bacteria Busters of Buckhannon, uses an interior dry-mist fogger to disinfect one of 18 Upshur County Schools buses currently being used to deliver weekly meals. Bacteria Busters owners say they are working to use the fog technique to disinfect and kill COVID-19, which is a virus, and other germs throughout businesses, residences and sports facilities in the area as business and schools begin opening.

Bacteria Busters helps Upshur County Schools say goodbye to germs

BUCKHANNON – So many aspects of life have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and no one can say exactly how learning will look when the 2020-2021 school year starts.

However, Upshur County School administrators say they are working hard to make sure the school system is taking all necessary precautions to keep students, service personnel, staff and teachers as safe as possible.

On Wednesday, Upshur County Schools Student Services Director Jodie Akers introduced Travis Foster and Timothy Reese, who co-own Bacteria Busters of Buckhannon, as they worked to disinfect the 18 Upshur County school buses currently used to deliver weekly meals to students.

Bacteria Busters is utilizing an interior dry-mist fog technique to kill not only the coronavirus, but many other illness-related germs that can be spread such as MRSA, E. coli, swine flu, Hepatitis A, B and C, Rotavirus, herpes, C. Diff and HIV.

“I think we are always trying to think ahead,” Akers said. “The more sanitizing we can do, the more it will help us as we make those calls to reopen school. This is one step of many that we will take.”

Akers said the disinfecting will most likely not allow Upshur County School system to bypass any of the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and those set by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s Office or county health departments.

“We are currently having discussions on the re-entry plans and trying to determine the levels,” Akers said, “but we all know that COVID-19 rules tend to change every day. We are just trying to be proactive, and sanitizing is key. This allows all of the surfaces to be sanitized completely.”

Foster said the disinfectant used by Bacteria Busters can kill the coronavirus in just one minute and said 10 minutes of sanitizing will kill other germs and bacteria.

“The solution we used was not developed by us, but by scientists and it is hospital-grade and EPA approved,” Foster said. “They determined the kill log and what it can kill and what it can’t. We did not create the solution, we just found out what the medical facilities were using, and we are working to make this available to help the everyday person, the household, hair salon, business and school. We are also working to make this affordable to everyone as well.”

Foster said a lot of the machines used to disinfect over the last 10 years have ranged in cost from $15,000 to $80,000.

“The main concept is the cleaning solution, so our main focus is, ‘how can we produce compatible machines that are affordable and still use the same solution?’” he said. “Then, we hope to take this to the everyday resident like a pest control. People have lawncare once a month, and people have pest control once a month. We asked why this wasn’t available to residents, just as it is available to hospitals. We have found a way to make it affordable and are launching it out to businesses all over because this is part of the reopening of businesses, and some of them don’t know how to reopen.”

Foster said when comparing the fogging process to hand-cleaning, the big variable is human error.

“Humans can miss something,” he said. “Take, for instance, a keyboard which is very hard to clean. The solution, when fogged, will fall into the crevices and kill germs in places that cannot normally be reached.”

One goal of Bacteria Busters is to get the fogger machines in bulk and make them available, so folks can purchase the machines to use on a daily basis or rent the machines to use.

“This technology is not new, but it has never been important – that is, until the last few months,” Foster said. “We are working with rental companies, rental car companies and sports facilities.”

Foster said Bacteria Busters hopes to offer their services to Upshur County residents first with a planned launch after the July 4 holiday.

“Then, we will open it up to the rest of the state, but our main focus right now is working on sports areas so the kids can get back at it,” Foster said. “We want to take care of our hometown first. I coach here, and I want my facilities clean.”

Reese said once the area is fogged and has set for 10 minutes, there is no wiping required and said the process is safe for people and pets.

“It is a sodium chloride chemical similar to those used in a swimming pool,” he explained.

Bacteria Busters has been in business for a little less than a year and is located at 23 E. Main St. in Buckhannon. They can be reached by calling 304-439-1032, online at BacteriaBustersPro.com or on Facebook.

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