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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine calls for FDA to approve new technology to sterilize surgical masks; asks for help manufacturing PPE

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is asking the FDA to approve new technology that will help sterilize surgical masks.

As Ohio continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19), Columbus-based technology development company Battelle has developed a new technology that will aid in sterilizing surgical masks.

Now it just needs to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

Speaking at his daily press conference on Saturday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called on the FDA to just that, stating that the breakthrough would allow Ohio to sterilize 160,000 surgical masks per day, which could then be used by doctors and nurses as they continue to aid in the efforts of fighting and treating the coronavirus. According to DeWine, the approval of the technology will be a matter of life and death.

In addition to asking for the FDA to approve the technology, DeWine is asking for manufacturers who are able to to aid in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), which is at an all-time premium as hospitals begin to fill up. That equipment includes surgical gowns, face/surgical masks, gloves, N-95 respirators, isolation gowns, face shields, Tyvek coveralls,  thermometers, face coverings and ventilator tubing.

Anyone able to donate these items is asked to do so by contacting together@governor.ohio.gov.

As of Saturday, Ohio has had 1,406 confirmed coronavirus cases, 344 of which have resulted in hospitalization and 25 deaths. On Friday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said the state currently projects to peak with 10,000 new daily cases in late-April.

Acton said on Saturday that the state has urged all medical facilities to treat any potential coronavirus cases, regardless of the individual's insurance status.

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