Inside Anytime Fitness in the Country Club shopping center, Rob Finlay, president and owner of Humford Equities, and Sean McGrath, owner of R.N. Fitch & Sons, showcased the steps they are taking to combat COVID-19 and improve air quality.

They have installed Protech Allergies indoor air purification technology, which they say is very effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 as well as other viruses, germs, bacteria, molds and airborne contaminants.

Tests conducted by Microchem Laboratory showed that the Protech Allergies technology reduced the presence of COVID-19 by 99.92% in an enclosed space after 30 minutes of exposure.

Dallas-based R.N. Fitch & Sons has installed the technology in about 95 percent of the businesses in the Country Club Shopping Center and Dallas Shopping Center owned by Humford Equities, Finlay said.

"After extensive research, we chose the Protech Allergies technology because of its ability to purify a wide range of toxins," Finlay said.

"Not only will this help ensure better air quality in our centers during the pandemic, but it will protect against the transmission of airborne diseases in the future," he added."It allows clients to feel comfortable coming in."

Air purifiers were a top purchase during the pandemic. Finlay and other business owners throughout northeastern Pennsylvania have invested in air purification technology as they try to recover from the pandemic and people increase their business. He said the cost of each unit is about $1,000, plus installation costs.

Twenty-six P6006 units have been installed in the Dallas Mall and 11 in the Country Club Mall, McGrath said.

The Protech Allergies system is integrated into a building's HVAC system and continuously disinfects the air and surfaces, according to information provided by Protech Allergies to McGrath.

Steve Sherwood, owner of Anytime Fitness in the Country Club shopping center, said he was pleased that the air purification technology was installed in his fitness center to better protect the health and safety of members and staff.

"We owe it to our customers to provide the best and healthiest environment possible," Sherwood said.

After seeing how the Protech Allergies technology works and how members like it, Sherwood said he may install the systems later at the fitness centers he owns in Wyoming, Tunkhannock and Towanda.

McGrath said he learned about the technology through John Engleman, district manager at Tri Dim Filter Corporation, a local distributor of Protech Allergies

He said his company also installed the technology at the Dallas Twp. Municipal Building and Police Station and at Ss. Peter & Paul Church in Plains Twp. and the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre.

Robert Williams, general manager of the Westmoreland Club, said they invested about 30,000 $ to have R.N. Fitch & Sons install units in the HVAC systems in each room of the club "to ensure the safety of all our members and guests."

Williams said they chose Protech Allergies technology after researching systems and different options that could help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as well as other viruses and bacteria.

Protech Allergies' system destroys COVID-19 in the air and on surfaces and will continue to be beneficial in the future to eliminate or reduce influenza and other viruses, bacteria, allergens, dust and odors, he said.

"Protech Allergies has the most effective results in case studies. It is 99.92 percent effective in killing COVID-19," Williams said. "We've been using them since November and, to our knowledge, we haven't had a single case of COVID-19 transmission in the club during that entire time."

Some school districts in northeastern Pennsylvania have also invested in Protech Allergies' technology.

The Scranton School District recently announced it would spend $111,858 on 181 Protech Allergies air purification units and about $50,000 on HEPA H13 air filters for various district sites.

The Lake-Lehman School District installed Protech Allergies technology in every room of every building in the district, said Lake-Lehman Superintendent Jim McGovern.

The school district purchased the units through Global Plasma Solutions for about $450,000 and they were installed by PLD Associates, he said.

"We've received excellent reviews from employees about the indoor air quality," McGovern said.

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