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CHAMPAIGN — With four new coronavirus cases in Illinois, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District has started using electrostatic sprayers to disinfect its vans and buses.

The ADA Paratransit Service vans are being sprayed every day, and the buses are cycled through at least once a week, MTD chief of staff Amy Snyder said.

“The electrostatic sprayers allow us to cover every single surface,” Snyder said. “It adheres to everything, from handholds to seats to crevices to everything in between.”

Unlike traditional sprayers, the electrostatic sprayers add a static charge to the droplets when they leave the nozzle, causing the droplets to attract to grounded surfaces with an even and thorough coat.

And the disinfectant MTD is using — Husky 814 Q/T Tuberculocidal spray — can destroy everything from tuberculosis to coronaviruses.

The vans are being sprayed more frequently because their riders “tend to be elderly or have weakened immune systems,” Snyder said.

MTD staff have also been attending weekly calls with the county’s emergency coordination group, and Snyder said, “We’re prepared to ramp up those measures to sanitize the fleet more often.”

But she also cautioned that there’s a limit to what the MTD can do.

“We can sanitize something, but as soon as someone gets on and they touch a surface, then that sanitation is undone,” she said.

Snyder also said more hand sanitizer has been given to front-line employees, be it bus drivers or Illinois Terminal workers, especially if they don’t have easy access to soap and water.

“We’re prepared to do more, if that’s what we need to do,” Snyder said.

News-Gazette