FEMA Approves Virginia for PPE Decontamination Devices

In this April 6, 2020, file photo, 3M Co. 8210V N95 particulate respirators are photographed in Hong Kong, China.
Justin Chin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Saturday that the state will receive three devices capable of sterilizing personal protective equipment.

The machines are Battelle Critical Care Decontamination Systems which can clean 240,000 pieces of PPE per day for reuse. The three systems will be operational in Blacksburg, Newport News and Chesterfield County within the next week.

The announcement came in a press release that said FEMA approved Virginia for the new pieces of equipment. The devices use concentrated hydrogen peroxide vapor to decontaminate N95 face masks. Masks are able to be sterilized 20 times before they can no longer be used.

“An ongoing, stable supply of PPE is key to moving Virginia forward from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Northam said in the press release. “This innovative new technology will extend the life of critical PPE like N95 masks, giving our medical facilities and first responders greater access to much-needed supplies and helping the Commonwealth manage our resources amid a nationwide shortage.”

These new systems are part of a growing network of PPE decontamination devices. One was delivered to D.C. last week and is being shared by the district, Northern Virginia and Maryland.

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