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Device On Good Day Cafe's HVAC System Purifies Air Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- At Good Day Cafe in Golden Valley, it's the delicious menu that draws people to dine. But suddenly, it could also be what customers don't see, taste or touch that helps bring them in.

It was actually quite by accident, says owner Nancy Webb.

"Back in February my goal was to help fight influenza," Webb said, explaining why she installed a device on the building's HVAC system.

It was done to help purify the restaurant's air and prevent the spread of flu viruses. The device is relatively compact and attaches to the inside of a heat exchanger or air handling system. It is known as Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization.

"I call it we've got our little virus zappers out there, like a bug zapper but for viruses," Webb said.

The device is designed and sold by North Carolina-based Global Plasma Solutions. It is engineered to generate naturally occurring ion particles that disperse through a building's ventilating system. Essentially, the charged atoms will seek out and attach to tiny particles, such as a sub-micron sized virus.

"The pathogens are inactivated because the ions attach to the actual virus and inactivate it by disrupting its RNA code," Tom Buetell, Minneapolis-based GPS representative, said.

Independent test lab studies show the system is 99.4% effective at stopping the COVID-19 virus. The same technology now purifies air in a number of buildings on the campus of St. Kate's University. Efforts are also underway to bring GPS's systems onboard commercial aircraft to help restore passenger and crew safety.

"Our technology is on all Gulfstream business jets and Boeing business jets right now," Buetell said.

After the initial cost of installation, Nancy Webb says the system requires no attention.

"It's very low maintenance, up on the HVAC system. We don't touch it or see it, it just does its magic," Webb said.

And with cleaner air, Nancy hopes both confidence and customers will soon return.

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