Roncalli High School uses technology to fight diseases

Unique technology to fight infectious diseases

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — We’re getting an inside look at some technology an Indianapolis high school uses to fight diseases.

Roncalli High School uses a handheld electrostatic ionizer. Roncalli officials said the fluid inside will sanitize and disinfect pretty much any surface. The device looks like something out of a “Star Wars” movie.

“The spray comes out and the cleaner, disinfectant, is magnetically charged,” said Dave Gervasio, vice president of finance and facilities for Roncalli High School, on Wednesday.

The machine uses water and special sanitizing tablets that claim to kill 99% of bacteria. What comes out has a familiar bleach smell.

“What it will do is adhere to surfaces with a lot better effectiveness — the tops, the sides, the bottoms — than would typically a person with their hand and a rag,” Gervasio said.

Roncalli has disinfected its locker rooms for years with the device. Now, they’re using it around the school more often.

“Understandably now that the coronavirus is something that’s forefront on people’s minds, we are extending it more frequently into the classrooms and the hallways than we have in the past. We have utilized this type cleaner in all those spaces before,” Gervasio said.

A school spokesperson said Wednesday that the school has no coronavirus cases.

Roncalli uses the ionizer on just about every surface: textbooks, hallways, classroom walls, desks, chairs and whiteboards.

“Anybody can operate it. This will do probably two, three classrooms. Then, if you’re just doing the halls, the lockers, I can do a whole hallway with it,” Chuck Bladek, the custodial supervisor for Roncalli High School, said.

Which hopefully brings some peace of mind to students and staff in the midst of nationwide coronavirus fears.

“We’re doing what we can to try to stop the spread of really that virus and really any other kind of virus or disease that might be out there.” Gervasio said.