COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) — A company has come up with the technology to sterilize face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the development Battelle has come up with during a news briefing Saturday.
“They’ve had a real breakthrough,” DeWine said. “As soon as it is approved by the FDA, we can begin using these. This is very exciting.”
DeWine went on to encourage the FDA to quickly approve the new technology adding Ohio would be able to sterilize 160,000 masks per day.
“We have nurses, doctors, and others, who need these masks,” DeWine said. “This is a matter of life and death. We need to protect people who are risking their lives.”
On Saturday, DeWine said hospitals in eight regions have submitted plans to the state should they have to increase capacity.
On Friday, DeWine said a report from the Cleveland Clinic estimated Ohio would be hit hard with cases in the next few weeks and may not peak until mid-May. This could require some hospitals to triple their bed capacity.
Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton says at the peak, Ohio could see 8,000 to 10,000 cases a day. She says without early action, those numbers would have been much higher.
“These numbers would have been much, much higher had we not taken action when we did,” said Acton. “The actions you are taking at home are shrinking those numbers.”
As of Saturday, 1,406 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Ohio and 25 people have died.