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Dane County Jail employing UV rays in attempt to kill viruses amid COVID-19 pandemic

Dane County Jail employing UV rays in attempt to kill viruses amid COVID-19 pandemic

From the Pandemic numbers, hospital updates and more: Keep up with the latest local news on the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak series
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Dane County Jail inmates eat pizza and socialize March 11 after a graduation ceremony for the new Parenting Inside Out program.

In an attempt to head off any outbreak of the new coronavirus among inmates, the Dane County Jail is testing a pair of devices that use ultraviolet rays to kill viruses in the air and on surfaces.

The two UV emitters on loan from Skytron, a Michigan-based maker of hospital equipment, arrived Monday, according to the Sheriff's Office, and staff are being trained in their use.

The devices are typically used in medical settings but can be useful in sanitizing work areas and vehicles as well, the Sheriff's Office said.

“The health and safety of all our staff and community is of the utmost importance to me and our leadership team," Sheriff Dave Mahoney said in a statement. "We will continue to look for ways to help our people do their jobs in these uncertain times."

The Sheriff's Office has been working to reduce the headcount in the jail to minimize the risk of COVID-19. Since March 10, the jail's population has dropped from 746 to 562. Seventy-four people are on GPS monitoring at home.

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