Free liquid disinfectant will be distributed at locations around Del Rio and Comstock Wednesday, Val Verde County Judge Lewis G. Owens Jr. announced Monday.
“The county and the city have been working together during this COVID-19 pandemic, and the county will be bringing in a piece of equipment that will make sodium hypochlorite – bleach. It will be safe to use as a disinfectant, and the percentage of sodium hypochlorite in this mix exceeds the CDC’s recommended amount to kill the coronavirus,” Owens said.
He said the equipment is owned by the private company De Nora Neptune of Midland, Texas, will arrive in Del Rio after noon Tuesday.
“Hopefully on Wednesday morning, if we can get it all hooked up and set up, we will have five locations where it will be given out, free of charge, to the public,” Owens said.
The locations will include the Val Verde County Community Center, Roy Musquiz Park, the “Y” at U.S. Highways 90 and 277 just north of the Del Rio city limits (old Fisherman’s Headquarters parking lot), Brown Plaza, the Val Verde County Fairgrounds and Comstock.
“I did visit with Mayor (Bruno) Lozano earlier and if there is another location in Del Rio where we need to set up, we’ll add that as well, possibly the civic center parking lot,” Owens said.
He said he is aiming at starting the distributions at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Anyone who wants to take advantage of the free disinfectant is asked to bring a clean plastic container to one of the distribution sites. Each person will receive up to five gallons of the liquid.
Owens also explained the liquid does not contain the additives mixed into commercial bleach sold in stores and is therefore asking people to use the liquid within seven days.
“You can put it on your hands; it actually smells like Clorox,” the judge said.
“We are hoping that people will use it to disinfect their homes and use it as a hand sanitizer,” he added.
He urged Val Verde County residents to use the liquid to disinfect frequently used surfaces inside their homes, such as doorknobs and countertops.
Owens said the county will try to bring the equipment back in a week if the distribution goes well.
“We’re hoping to give the stores a chance to catch up on their supplies of hand sanitizer and home cleaning and disinfecting products,” Owens said.
He noted Fort Bend County brought in a similar piece of equipment and had great success with it.
“They actually had people waiting in lines three to five miles long,” he said.
“I will tell you that this has not been FDA approved, but if you use CD guidelines, this has more than enough sodium hypochlorite to kill the coronavirus on surfaces,” the county judge said.
Owens lauded members of Del Rio’s private industry, including Ken Smith, for providing 270-gallon plastic containers to help distribute the liquid disinfectant.