YMCA installs bi-polar ionization units to help battle COVID

In addition to the installation of Needle Point Bi-Polar Ionization Units, all YGBW equipment is spaced at least 6 feet apart or has been marked as not available to ensure social distancing at all times. YGBW has implemented numerous health and safety protocols since reopening last June to create the safest environment possible.

WEST CHESTER – The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), a nonprofit association of eight YMCA branches (Brandywine YMCA, Jennersville YMCA, Kennett Area YMCA, Lionville Community YMCA, Octorara YMCA Program Center, Oscar Lasko YMCA & Childcare Center, Upper Main Line YMCA, West Chester Area YMCA) in Chester County, has completed installation of Needle Point Bi-Polar Ionization (NPBI) Units in all of its fitness centers to create even healthier environments.

These units begin to neutralize viruses within minutes, with laboratory tests showing 99.4% of SARS-CoV-2 viral particles (the cause of COVID-19) rendered inactive within 30 minutes.

“Health and safety have always been of paramount importance at the YMCA. We educate our staff team members heavily in safety, including regular drills and annual trainings to prepare them to handle any situation that may arise,” said Denise Day, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine. “However, since the COVID-19 pandemic began and everyone has learned more about the virus, we have taken additional steps to ensure we are creating the safest environment possible. One of these steps includes the installation of NBPI units.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Outdoor air is continually cleaned by naturally occurring ions that are created from lightning, rushing water, crashing waves and sunlight.

Jerry Levinsky, YGBW’s Senior Director of Facilities, further explains the science behind NPBI units: “NPBI units work by safely introducing ions into indoor environments, reducing airborne particles, odors and pathogens. The ions attach to airborne particles which are subsequently attracted to one another. This increases their mass and size, allowing them to be captured by the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) filtration system. Odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are broken down into harmless compounds by oxidation, leaving indoor air fresher. Pathogens are reduced by the NPBI technology attacking viruses, mold spores and bacteria. The ions steal away hydrogen from the pathogens, leaving them to die.” Additionally, the NBPI systems YGBW has installed do not introduce ozone or other harmful byproducts into the environment.

Being able to exercise and release energy, especially during times of stress like the one we’re in now, is crucial.

“To fulfill our mission at the YMCA of supporting and strengthening our community, providing a safe and healthy environment is vital. We will continue to do everything in our power to do just that,” says Day.

Since reopening following the government-mandated shutdown last June, YGBW has implemented many new policies and procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Nic Legere, YGBW’s Director of Safety and Risk Management and Director of Branch Operations at the Kennett Area YMCA, says, “We rearranged our facilities to allow for social distancing, require masks, began offering group exercise classes outdoors (as well as virtually), follow strict cleaning and disinfection protocols and more. The installation of these new NBPI units is one additional step we wanted to take to provide the safest and healthiest environment possible.”

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