SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Somerville will be the fourth location in the U.S. to house a face mask-cleaning system, which will bolster local supplies of personal protective equipment as healthcare workers deal with shortages amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's coming on Sunday," Mayor Curtatone told WBZ NewsRadio. "We'll immediately begin setting up its operation."
The FDA-approved Critical Care Decontamination System was developed by defense contractor Battelle. The company says one machine can clean up to 80,000 N95 face masks per day, allowing each mask to be safely reused up to ten times before being thrown away.
Mayor Curtatone said the machine, which "comes in six containers," will be set up inside a former Walmart in Assembly Row and is scheduled to start cleaning masks on Monday.
"Context and perspective," Curtatone said, "Mass General alone estimated they burn through 1,000 masks per day... that's a big boost to our healthcare system."
WBZ NewsRadio's Jim MacKay (@JimMacKayOnAir) reports: