Oklahoma to receive decontamination system for N95 masks

OKLAHOMA CITY — Hospitals, health care workers and first responders in Oklahoma will soon have the option of recycling their N95 masks with the state receiving a new decontamination system developed by Battelle, a global research and development organization headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.
The Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System is a self-contained, mobile system that uses high concentration, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 masks.
Oklahoma will not incur a cost for the new service. Battelle was awarded a contract by the Defense Logistics Agency on behalf of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide N95 decontamination at no charge to health care providers.
“My first priority has always been to protect the health and lives of Oklahomans,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said. “This system will help us continue to protect our health care workers and first responders as we stay proactive in our fight against COVID-19. Oklahoma is better when we work together.”
“This system is a way to ensure an uninterrupted supply of critical PPE is available to health care workers and first responders in our state for the long-term,” Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye said. “Oklahoma’s stockpile of PPE is in good shape now and through proactive partnerships like this we can add an extra layer of insurance that it will remain that way.”
“This is a great example of the partnership between FEMA, our state and local partners and health care providers working together to implement innovative solutions to preserve valuable personal protective equipment for those frontline Oklahomans taking care of those in need,” FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson said.
The Battelle system was created to address the global shortage of personal protective equipment and will serve to maximize Oklahoma’s PPE stockpile, which currently includes approximately 181,000 N95 masks.
Up to 10,000 masks can be decontaminated at a time. The process takes about 2.5 hours per batch and health care workers can expect to have cleaned masks back within approximately 72 hours of receipt at the processing facility. An N95 mask can be decontaminated up to 20 times without degraded performance.