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Idaho Lt. Governor promotes ‘walk-thru disinfectant cubes’

Idaho Falls

BOISE (AP) — Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin has proposed using millions of dollars in coronavirus relief aid to have a Nevada company install additional safety technology including “walk-through disinfectant cubes” at the state Capitol in Boise.

McGeachin, a Republican, promoted the “very high-tech equipment” manufactured by Xtreme Manufacturing in Las Vegas to reporters Tuesday while criticizing Republican Gov. Brad Little’s coronavirus response, the Idaho Press reported.

“A person can walk through a cube and be disinfected from head to toe, including on the bottom of their feet,” she said of the technology.

But the technology has been widely disputed. The National Institutes of Health published a study in June that found “walk-through sanitation gates” were ineffective and potentially dangerous, noting that the practice violates World Health Organization standards.

“Fumigation is meant for inanimate objects and surfaces, and it should never be used on people,” the study said.

The proposal calls for spending about $17 million, including $80,000 for two walk-through disinfectant cubes, three mobile units for emergency overflow and staffing for the units. McGeachin submitted the plan last week to the governor’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee, but consideration of the plan was not added to the committee’s agenda for Wednesday.

Committee Chairman Alex Adams said the proposal was received and is under review.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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