(CBS DETROIT) – At the William Dickerson Correctional Facility there’s some ground-breaking technology taking place that targets COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses. It’s called the Integrated Viral Protection, or IVP and Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington says it’s groundbreaking technology in the fight against COVID-19

“We’re going to attack COVID where it lurks, in the air.”

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Sheriff Washington says the IVP will make this happen. The machine works as an air disinfecting system and Wayne County is the Country’s first Jail to receive one.

Dr. Garett Peel MD, IVP founding partner says, the system is placed in over 100 schools, hospitals and entertainment venues throughout the County, and is proven to kill airborne illnesses, including COVID-19.

“So it’s important that we are pumping clean fresh air to focus on the re-circulation and kill whatever is in the air instantaneously and that’s what this medical device does, we are FDA approved for sell during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dr. Peel says it’s important to have this system is largely populated environments such as prisons, where the virus is easily spread. He says in its current locations they have proven success.

“Thankfully seen a decrease in infection rate where we have deployed these units.” Said Dr. Peel during a press conference at the Dickerson Correctional Facility on Thursday

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The Wayne County Sheriff’s office has the units in 5 locations, including the 2 downtown jails and the Dickerson facility in Hamtramck. Having loss several staff members to COVID-19 including the County’s Sheriff Benny Napoleon, Sheriff Washington says doing all they can to mitigate the virus is extremely important to the office.

“These losses have focused us to do all we can to prevent COVID from threatening everyone who comes in contact with this agency.”

Washington says they are continuing to take other safety precautions including masks wear, inmate and staff COVID testing. He says there are currently 350 staff members that have received vaccinations.

“This does not replace CDC guidelines we still want to make sure that this is a level of enhancement a level of security.” Says Dr. Peel

He’s hopes to have the units in other heavily populated facilities throughout the state of Michigan

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April Morton