Hillsborough County spends millions in COVID-19 safety upgrades, focusing on air sanitation
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. Even as people continue to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Hillsborough County is working to ensure that the public is protected from the virus and other diseases in the years to come.
There are millions of dollars in security upgrades that you will now find at provincial facilities throughout the Tampa Bay area. There are approximately 228 Board of County Commission locations with $ 4.1 million in improvements and supplies. Additionally, there are about 150 locations in the county’s parks and recreation department, totaling about $ 3.1 million in upgrades.
This will be combined with $ 16.8 million to provide improvements to nonprofits and county sports venues, in addition to more than 80 plan assessments conducted in conjunction with the Department of Health.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, Hillsborough County facilities manager John Muller knew they needed to focus on ventilation.
“It’s the indoor air that’s most at risk, so let’s control that,” said Muller.
In the past year, he has launched a complete overhaul of the province’s HVAC systems. That includes installing these UV-C light filters in hundreds of the county’s major public areas, such as the tax office.
“That UV-C light has enough energy to destroy all viruses and pathogens,” said Muller.
To date, Hillsborough County has installed UV-C filters in 560 units. They have also placed HVAC disinfection in 87 elevator cabins and switched to stronger air filters.
The air purification is not only in the ventilation openings. The province has also installed portable UV air washers to ensure more safety methods.
“We will combine this with a scrubber unit to give it an extra boost,” said Muller.
In addition, on your next visit to a district building, it is likely that you will likely see face temperature scanners, hand cleaning stations, and clear plastic partitions.
Water fountains have also been replaced by bottle refills and other touch-free fixtures. Muller said all these changes are permanent.
“We love the disinfection out there,” Muller said.
He said all of this will be critical in protecting our most vulnerable, not only from COVID-19, but also from the flu and other viruses.
In addition, the province will continue A / V enhancements to meeting rooms that support hybrid meetings between small gathering groups and other virtual groups.