As Ohio continues to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19), one Northeast Ohio-based company has made a significant breakthrough.
On Friday, Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Mentor-based Steris to sterilize protective N95 respirator masks on a small scale. Two weeks ago, the FDA approved Columbus-based company Battelle to sterilize the same masks on a larger scale.
According to Husted, Steris has the ability to sterilize 10 masks in 28 minutes and has 100 machines capable of doing so across Ohio. The masks will be used by health care workers in hospital settings and have been in high demand dating as the coronavirus has continued to spread.
"It's just another example of the Ohio innovators out there, the businesses who are stepping up to solve new problems," Husted said. "The technology for this was developed right in Mentor, Ohio."
As of Friday, Ohio has had 5,878 confirmed coronavirus cases, 1,755 of which have resulted in hospitalization, 548 ICU admissions and 231 deaths. Dating back to the discovery of the state's first positive coronavirus case on March 9, DeWine has taken several measures to encourage physical distancing, including a stay-at-home order that is currently in place until at least May 1.