Germ-killing robots to fight COVID-19 at Royal Columbian

ROYAL Columbian Hospital is enlisting another weapon in its fight against COVID-19. Two ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) robots (one funded by Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation) will be used to deep clean and disinfect “hot spots” in the hospital to kill pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

The robots are used in areas like the Intensive Care and High Acuity Units, emitting concentrated ultraviolet light to kill SARS-CoV-2 that may linger on surfaces. As one of BC’s primary COVID-19 sites, Royal Columbian Hospital cares for some of B.C.’s most critically ill patients.

“Our donors’ incredible response and support during the pandemic helps us act quickly on a wide range of needs at Royal Columbian,” says Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation President and CEO Jeff Norris. “The robots are a safe and effective tool to reduce the risk of infection and help keep patients, healthcare providers, staff, and visitors healthy.”

The ultraviolet light emitted by the robots also kills other potentially deadly microorganisms including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile), and Candida auris (C. auris). Ultraviolet light is effective at killing bacteria and viruses because it destroys the molecular bonds that hold their DNA together.

As Royal Columbian meets the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation has focused its efforts on helping to ensure frontline healthcare workers and other groups vital to the hospital have the resources and support they need. The Foundation created a COVID-19 Response Fund to fund a wide-range of initiatives to help in the fight against this pandemic.