Battelle Decontamination system helping to sterilize face masks

HELENA – A new system is in place to help protect some of our most essential workers. Battelle Decontamination services are helping disinfect N95 masks for healthcare workers.

There are 60 Battelle Decontamination systems across the U.S. and one of them is housed at the Montana Army Aviation Support Facility.

Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System sterilizes N95 masks for healthcare providers at no charge, in an effort to help protect the workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's the least we can do given what everyone else's doing to battle what we are in the middle of right now,” says Kris Adams, Battelle Program Manager. “If our small part is running a system like this that can help folks with their protective equipment to keep them safe while they're doing what they're doing, I'm proud to be part of it."

In a 24-hour span, 80,000 masks can be decontaminated and cleaned up to 20 times. The PPE will be labeled with a barcoded serial number for tracking purposes, making sure that healthcare providers receive their own masks back.

"Once the masks are decontaminated, the proper count is assigned then we package them up and we ship them back,” says Adams.

Governor Bullock says knowing the state can take each investment and make them last a lot longer so our healthcare workers can have the protection they need is very rewarding.

"All throughout this COVID-19 pandemic we've been relying on our neighbor states and governors are regularly having calls, and now I'll be able to say to some of the Governor's around us that didn't get a Battelle machine's that they can send their masks to Montana as well," says Governor Steve Bullock. "So it not only makes a difference for Montana's healthcare providers but it can all throughout this region."

The Battelle Decontamination System is federally funded and Adams says this entire process helps save a lot of time and money.

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