To combat COVID-19 on small items and kitchen appliances, new ultraviolet (UV) sanitation devices have been placed around Western Michigan University’s campus by the Kalamazoo company, Tekna.

Students have access to several capsule UV devices located in the Valley Dining Center (VDC), Waldo Library and a few academic buildings. Phones, wallets and any other commonly carried items can be placed inside for 30 seconds, and the immersive light will clean them. Tekna reached out to Pete Strazdas, associate vice president of facilities management about these devices.

“During this pandemic, there’s a lot of things we’re learning and trying to use that we believe will make this campus safe,” Strazdas said. “So we allowed Tekna to put the devices on campus for students, faculty, staff and guests to use.”

There are larger versions of the sanitation devices called Cube and Cube 2 that reside in the VDC. There is also one in the entry hallway, so every employee that walks in can use it while completing their daily wellness check.

“The biggest thing that we use it for is our radios,”  Katie Decamp VDC manager said. “Every manager, venue upstairs and student supervisors uses a radio to communicate, because they are a shared item we require everyone to put them in before and after use.”

The Cube 2, located in the production kitchen, is used for things that cannot be put through the dish machine like food scales and spice bottles.

The highly reflective interior of the devices allows whatever is inside to be fully immersed in light and come out sanitary. The Tekna team frequently visits their products in order to check the number of uses according to Tekna Vice President Mike Rozewicz.

“I anticipate that there will be a lot of folks at Western who will want the units post trial, hopefully they’ll be able to purchase them,”  Rozewicz said. “Because of the amount of students that are using the product, we see a lot more being deployed.”

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