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Winning the battle against Cold and Flu in the schools

by David Specht

During the cold and flu season of 2018-19, many school systems had closures due to outbreaks of infection. Webster Parish Schools was not one of them. According to Superintendent Johnny Rowland, that feat was due, in part, to a new disinfection protocol adopted by the system.

Gary Haynes, of Walkmar Resources, approached the school system with a disinfectant spray known as Vital Oxide. “I kind of stumbled on this deal,” he said. “The more I looked at it, the more I felt there were rocks unturned on it.”

Haynes said there are many viruses and other pathogens that are effectively eliminated by Vital Oxide. “This stuff will kill HIV. It will kill Staph. It will kill Hepatitis A, B, and C. It will kill Salmonella in 30 seconds.” 

Rowland said Vital Oxide was used throughout the school year, not just during the cold and flu season to keep the schools disinfected. “The fact is we spraying that stuff like all get out,” Rowland.

According to comprehensive literature on the product, Vital Oxide is, “an EPA registered hospital disinfectant cleaner, mold killer and super effective odor eliminator.”

The product requires no wiping, as the mist is allowed to dry on surfaces. 

“It does not affect your skin, it does not affect inhaling it,” Haynes said. “You can spray it on a desk. You can spray it on a computer.”

Haynes said the main ingredient in the spray is chlorine dioxide, which is non-hazardous. “This stuff is used for healing. It’s used for food. It’s used everything else,” he said.

In addition, a unique electrostatic delivery system causes the product to attach itself along surfaces where the spraying function may not reach.

Jeff Franklin, former principal at North Webster High School, now working at the School Board Central Office said Vital Oxide was also a great benefit to the football program. “Last year was the first year in several that we didn’t have some Staph problem with football,” he said. “They would spray shoulder pads, helmets, locker rooms, and weight rooms.”

Webster Parish Schools Maintenance/Transportation Supervisor Buster Flowers said he has seen the benefits of Vital Oxide first hand over the past school year.

“The key to making this successful for us is the pairing of the chemical with the electrostatic [delivery system],” Flowers said. “The thing I like about it, you don’t have any residue left on glass.”

Haynes said Vital Oxide is applied before or after the school day. “Even though it won’t hurt kids, we make sure we spray it when they aren’t there.”

For more information on Vital Oxide, visit or Haynes’ company at

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