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West Shore YMCA gets $75,000 donation to help fight COVID-19

Mechanicsburg-based engineering firm Enginuity is giving new technology which is designed to blast and destroy coronavirus particles out of the air system.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Doctors do not yet believe there's a cure for COVID-19. However, a local engineering company says they can destroy the virus before it even gets to you, and are looking to help one of the region's largest community centers in the process.

Enginuity, a Mechanicsburg-based firm, will donate and install 19 units to the West Shore branch of the YMCA of Greater Harrisburg. The technology is called a Dielectric Barrier Discharge Bipolar Ionization unit, or DBD BPI for short. They will be installed into the YMCA's heating and air system.

Enginuity claims tests showed the DBD BPI units can eliminate 99.92% of coronavirus particles in the air and on surfaces within 30 minutes.

"It doesn't eliminate the virus if you touch equipment and then touch your face, but it does continually clean the environment it's exposed to," said Jim Mooney, President and CEO of Enginuity.

The donation of 19 units costs approximately $75,000. Mooney said Enginuity only donated to the West Shore YMCA because it's the largest in space and membership of the Greater Harrisburg "Y" network. They hope to expand soon.

Rosie Turner, Director of Marketing for the YMCA of Greater Harrisburg, says the West Shore Y typically sees 1700 membership scans on a typical summer day. Since reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Shore Y is only seeing between 300-400 scans a day.

Their hope is better air quality will help give people peace of mind to return to the center.

"The air is not something you can clean with a Clorox wipe," Turner said. "So you need something to wrap people in an extra layer of security."

Enginuity is part of a group of local engineering companies, called the Healthy Spaces Initiative. The companies are working together to find ways to keep society safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent survey of more than 2,000 people conducted by HSI, 86 percent indicated that air quality was the most important COVID-19 mitigation factor.

"We have a lot of people that come in from different backgrounds," Turner said. "It's really important they come in with confidence to the YMCA that they're breathing the best possible atmosphere and best possible air."