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Published 5/3/2020
3:18am

New Device Will Allow N95 Masks to Be Decontaminated and Reused

Statewide PPE Supply Expands As Masks Can Be Reused Up To 20 Times

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Used N95 respirators can now be delivered to Battelle Labs’ decontamination device located at the TCF Center in Detroit. The device can decontaminate N95 respirators for reuse up to 20 times and the service is available, free of charge, for health systems, first responders and nursing homes.

Michigan received its device Thursday, April 23, from among the 60 decontamination devices the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procured from Battelle Labs, an Ohio-based company. The device includes four decontamination units and is approved to process N95 respirators using concentrated, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide.

“We are excited to use this technology as part of our strategy to fight COVID-19,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “This will increase the personal protective equipment available to our frontline workers as they care for Michiganders with COVID-19.”

Battelle’s decontamination process has been granted an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has shown up to 99.99999 percent effective sterilization of N95s. Through its contract with the state, Battelle is providing staff to operate the device.

Facilities will be able to ship N95 respirators to TCF for decontamination. Once the masks are sterilized, the respirators will be shipped back. More information is available on Battelle’s website in its Battelle CCDS™ FAQs.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly.

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Update 4/26/2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is now a Saturday Night Live character, after a skit aired on April 25th depicting Michigan's leader delivering a satirical message to the state's residents about staying safe during the state's Coronavirus lockdown.

The body of a six-year-old was found on Friday April 24th in the Huron River.  The boy, along with his father, disappeared during a fishing trip on March 29th.

A man was rescued after his kayak capsized in West Michigan.  It happened Saturday morning, April 25th, at Fennessy Lake, in West Michigan.  The 42 year old man was treated for hypothermia.

SEIU Healthcare Michigan President Andrea Acevedo says she is concerned some nursing homes in Michigan are choosing not to report COVID-19 deaths to employees and the public putting more lives in danger.  The union represents more than 5,000 nursing home workers.

A Grand Haven church is among others in the state to offer a drive-in service as Michigan's stay-at-home order remains in place.  Trinity Reformed Church invited drivers to park in the church's lot on Sunday morning at 10am but required attendees to keep windows up and continue to social distance.

A Republican Michigan lawmaker is apologizing after wearing a face mask in session in Lansing on Friday, April 24th that resembled the Confederate flag.  State Senator Dale Zorn said the mask's design was not a Confederate flag but apologized for his choice of pattern.

Mid-Michigan TV stations will host a town hall with Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday April 30th.  The event will originate at the ABC 12 studios in Flint and will be carried on that station, along with WNEM-TV 5, NBC 25 and FOX 66, from 7 to 8pm.

A person suspected of breaking into vehicles in Gaylord over the weekend has been arrested. Authorities say there may be more victims than those currently known.