3 sites in Virginia to acquire decontamination systems for protective equipment


Virginia is expected to receive three decontamination systems that can collectively sterilize up to 240,000 units of personal protective equipment each day during the coronavirus outbreak.

Virginia is expected to receive three decontamination systems that can collectively sterilize up to 240,000 units of personal protective equipment each day during the coronavirus outbreak.

Governor Ralph Northam said in a press release on Saturday that decontamination systems would become operational in Blacksburg, Newport News and Chesterfield County within the next week.

The units have been approved for Virginia by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Northam said the technology will help address the nation’s shortage of essential personal protective equipment to help protect healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic.

The rare N95 respirator masks can withstand 20 decontamination cycles without suffering in performance, the statement said.

During the first six months, the program will be funded by FEMA.

Another decontamination system, produced by Battelle, is shared by health systems in the DC area. The company hires staff to work on PPE decontamination and also asks healthcare administrators who have equipment to clean to request service through the Battelle. website. The decontamination system uses hydrogen peroxide vapor to clean the masks.

The Blacksburg-based system on the Virginia Tech campus will be available for Virginia and West Virginia.

Northam said the stable supply of PPE is important for Virginia to move away from the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the system “will extend the life of critical PPE like N95 masks, giving our medical facilities and first responders better access to essential supplies. and help the Commonwealth manage our resources in the midst of a nationwide shortage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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