VANCOUVER -- Royal Columbian Hospital is now using two "germ-killing robots" to help kill the virus that causes COVID-19.

The robots, which emit concentrated ultraviolet light to kill the virus, will be used to clean and disinfect what the hospital describes as its "hot spots," such as the intensive care and high acuity units.

"The robots are a safe and effective tool to reduce the risk of infection and help keep patients, health-care providers, staff and visitors healthy," said Jeff Norris, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation’s president and CEO, in a news release. RCH is one of the province's primary care hospitals for COVID-19.

The light from the so-called "ultraviolet germicidal irradiation robots" can also kill other potentially deadly microorganisms like antibiotic-resistant strains of staphylococcus aureus and C. difficile, as it works to destroy the molecular bonds that hold their DNA together, RCH says.

While it's not known exactly how long COVID-19 can live on surfaces, preliminary data suggests the virus can survive on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days, depending on different conditions like temperature, the type of surface, and humidity levels, according to data gathered by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The hospital foundation has also launched a COVID-19 response fund to help fund a variety of initiatives during the pandemic, such as providing accommodation for workers after their shifts and technology to help them communicate with their patients.