Historic Texas hotel to unveil air filtration system that officials say kills coronavirus


Photo courtesy Hotel Paso del Norte

EL PASO, Texas (NewsNation) — El Paso’s historic Hotel Paso del Norte located in the city’s downtown district is set to reopen later this year and will include an added safety feature in the age of coronavirus.

The hotel, which originally opened in 1912, will now include an air filtration system that officials said can kill 99% of viruses through ionization every 10 minutes.

“We are among the First Marriott Autograph hotels in the world to install a system that cleans the air to this level,” said Carlos Sarmiento, general manager of Hotel Paso del Norte. “Being in the renovation process when this crisis occurred gave us the unique opportunity to implement additional safety features before opening our doors. When we undertook this project; we were prepared to restore the 108-year-old property’s architectural elements, create stunning event spaces and amenities, and curate a distinct culinary destination—but COVID-19 gave us the need to enhance the air quality in all areas of the hotel.”

Officials said the system that’s being installed at the hotel features HVAC-mounted ionizers that use proactive air purification technologies to deactivate airborne viruses safely.

“The system incorporates bipolar ionization, which creates millions of positive and negative ions, a proven method for virus destruction,” a news release said.

The air filtration system, made by Plasma-Air, has been tested in simulated hospital ICUs and hotels used to house medical personnel in isolation during the pandemic, officials said. The system was shown to reduce 99% of bacteriophage after only 10 minutes of exposure to ionization, according to the company.

The same technology is being used at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York as the school prepares to welcome students back to campus, according to Plasma-Air.

Hotel Paso del Norte has outlined additional safety measures to keep guests safe.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association has listed additional guidance for hotels working to reopen during the pandemic.

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