New technology in Ohio could sterilize up to 160,000 medical face masks a day if approved by FDA

Gov. Mike DeWine makes plea for approval
Posted at 2:36 PM, Mar 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 18:47:22-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — During his daily press conference Saturday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine made a plea to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve new technology that sterilizes surgical masks and would allow for healthcare workers to have more access to critical personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Battelle Memorial Institute, an applied science and technology development company headquartered in Columbus, has developed new technology that would allow healthcare workers to sterilize up to 80,000 face masks per day, per machine, DeWine said.

There are currently two machines that Battelle Memorial Institute has already developed and waiting for FDA approval. The two machines would allow the state of Ohio to sterilize 160,000 masks per day.

“It really is truly a matter of life and death. We need to protect our people who are risking their lives, every single day,” DeWine said.

During the press conference, DeWine and Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton listed the 10 medical items most needed, including face masks, surgical gowns, medical-grade gloves, N95 respirators, isolation gowns, face shields, Tyvek coveralls, thermometers, foot coverings and ventilator tubing.

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