The following is a message from the Department of Health Services.

Wisconsin’s response to COVID-19 has strained supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) across the state, leading to some shortages of critical supplies including N95 respirator masks. In addition to sourcing additional N95 masks, the State of Wisconsin is exploring processes to decontaminate masks so they can be reused.

In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the State of Wisconsin will be receiving a Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System™, which can decontaminate tens of thousands of N95 masks daily. The Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System™ decontaminates masks by killing viruses and bacteria using hydrogen peroxide gas. Battelle advises masks can be decontaminated up to twenty times without degrading filtration performance.

In Wisconsin, it is our goal to have the Battelle Decontamination System in operation by mid-May. A process is currently being developed to collect, decontaminate, and swiftly return N95 masks for users throughout the state. In the meantime, we are asking Wisconsin health care providers interested in using the Battelle CCDS, to retain and not discard used N95 masks for future decontamination.

Please note:

  • The Battelle Decontamination System is not authorized for use with respirators containing cellulose-based materials.
  • All compatible N95 respirators must be free of any visual soiling or contamination (e.g., blood, bodily fluids, makeup).
  • Compatible N95 respirators that are visually soiled or damaged should not be collected for decontamination and will be disposed of and not returned after decontamination.
  • Masks should be marked with the name of the healthcare professional to whom the mask was issued.

Learn more about the Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System

Final questions relative to the Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System™ installation will be answered in the coming weeks. More details will be provided in the coming days.

If you know of others in the state would find this information helpful or useful, please pass along this along this message to all those who would be interested.