Columbus, Ohio (April 20, 2020)—OhioHealth started 2020 with what was projected to be a year's supply of N95 masks, but when COVID-19 arrived in the Buckeye State in early March, projections showed that the stockpile might last less than two months during a surge of cases.
"There were a lot of conversations about (personal protective equipment) and conserving it," said family physician Laurie Hommema, M.D., the medical director of provider and associate well-being for OhioHealth, a not-for-profit network of 12 hospitals and more than 200 ambulatory sites with roughly 30,000 employees. "I was talking about it at home with my husband, and he remembered his company had done a study funded by the FDA."
Mechanical engineer Kevin Hommema wasn't involved with that study, but when his wife said she wished N95 masks could be reused, the image of respirator masks being decontaminated at a Battelle Memorial Institute lab years earlier came back to him.
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