COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A local non-profit laboratory has developed a way to get up to 160,000 surgical masks a day back in use by medical professionals, Gov. Mike DeWine said during his Saturday COVID-19 coronavirus update.
Battelle Institute, based in Columbus, has developed a machine that can sterilize 80,000 surgical masks a day, according to DeWine.
The institute is building two machines and is awaiting FDA approval to begin using the machines, DeWine said. The machines would be based in Ohio.
DeWine made a public appeal to the FDA to approve the process as soon as possible.
“Please, please, give us the approval to use these,” he said. “We have nurses, we have doctors, we have people working in nursing homes who need the masks.”
DeWine praised Battelle for all the work it does, not only with the machines but also in general as well.
“They do absolutely phenomenal work,” he said. “They do it for people all across the world. We are very, very lucky to have them.”
DeWine said the sterilization will allow each mask to be reused “a number of times.”
“This is not only important to Ohio. They have machines that are ready to go for Seattle, New York, and Washington D.C.,” he said.