RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia will receive three decontamination systems that can collectively sterilize up to 240,000 units of personal protective equipment each day during the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Saturday.
Northam said in a news release that the decontamination systems will become operational in Blacksburg, Newport News and Chesterfield County within the next week.
The units were approved for Virginia by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Northam said the technology will help address the national shortage of critical personal protective equipment to help protect healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic. The system uses a concentrated hydrogen peroxide vapor to decontaminate N95 masks.
“An ongoing, stable supply of PPE is key to moving Virginia forward from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Northam said.
The three Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System units are being installed at the Marching Virginians Center on the Virginia Tech campus, a warehouse site in the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, and the Vietnam Veterans Pavilion at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds.
The system in Blacksburg will support Virginia and West Virginia and will be jointly operated by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
The systems are federally funded through FEMA and the Defense Logistics Agency.