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Published on May 21, 2020

Cone Health Lights the Way in Killing Coronavirus in Hospitals

The health network uses a small army of UV robots to keep hospitals safe as more services resume.


Greensboro – As hospitals resume services, many people wonder, “How are they cleaning for coronavirus?” At Cone Health, look for the light. When it gets dark, you can occasionally witness “light strikes,” intense bursts of light from the windows of Cone Health Hospitals. The light comes from “robots” and has one purpose—to kill germs. The robots play an important part of efforts to keep COVID-19 from spreading in Cone Health hospitals.

Xenex in operating room

Robot Cleaning OR

The light strikes are an intense form of ultraviolet light. It is so intense that no one can be in the room when the devices are in use. But the germs have nowhere to go. In a recent test at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the light from Xenex devices killed COVID-19 viruses in 2 minutes. Cone Health has 10 Xenex machines and 5 similar Tru-D devices. “We have increased the use of our machines by 40-50% during this pandemic. As we move to resuming more surgeries, we are sanitizing areas around the clock,” says Joshua Andrews, executive director, environmental services, Cone Health. 

Every environmental services tech has been trained to use the devices. This allows more areas of hospitals to be disinfected in this manner. Cone Health now uses UV disinfecting in all hospital clinic areas, staff lounges, on-call rooms, waiting areas, and public restrooms. Ultraviolet light has traditionally been used at Moses Cone Day Surgery and, after they have left the hospital, in rooms of patients who had highly contagious diseases such as COVID-19. 

UV disinfecting doesn’t take the place of people. “Our environmental services staff manually clean and disinfect using the latest techniques and guidance. They cap off their work with a UV robot as an extra layer of safety,” adds Andrews. “We want people to be safe coming into a hospital. This is one way we do that.” 

For more information about cleaning homes, people can get information from the CDC.