River Spirit Casino uses air purifiers to combat spread of COVID-19

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is finding new ways to combat the coronavirus. The Native American tribe is installing hundreds of air purifiers in all of its casinos.

The Connecticut-based company, AtmosAir Solutions, makes the air purifiers. The company said its device is more than 99% effective in neutralizing COVID-19, and it could be another tool to help prevent the spread of the virus. The device has been tested by an independent lab and approved by the FDA.

“It’s just taking the next step from all the extensive protocols we’re already doing,” said Pat Crofts, chief operating officer for River Spirit Casino.

AtmosAir’s bi-polar ionization technology saturates spaces with positively and negatively charged ions that bind to contaminants and pathogens, including COVID-19 in the air and on surfaces.

“It can treat any sized space from a hotel room up into the size of the BOK center,” said Joe Cooper, spokesperson for the company.

The device does not disperse any harsh chemicals, radiation or any other by-product and also fits into any HVAC unit. The technology is appealing to many in the hospitality industry, including Mike Bausch, owner of Andolini’s Pizzeria.

“Be it air-purifiers, barriers, gloves, masks, whatever we can do to actually make it safer for customers is what Andonili’s plans to do,” Bausch said.

But with a price-tag between $800 to $8,000 for different devices by the company, it may be out of reach for smaller businesses.

Even with air purification systems, medical experts like OU Medical Center’s Dr. Dale Bratzler said standard safety protocols are still important.

Dr. Bratzler and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “The virus generally does not travel through the air by itself,” and people should continue to social distance, wear a mask, and wash their hands.