WVU sanitizing masks for West Virginia National Guard

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University Health Sciences Center’s Safety Office is working to sanitize thousands of masks for the West Virginia National Guard.

The National Guard collects masks from mostly nursing homes and EMS and then drops them off at the Safety Office, which then uses vaporized hydrogen peroxide and chlorine dioxide to decontaminate them before returning them for redistribution. This is according to the BioSafety Officer Alexandra Elliott, with the of the Safety Office, who said they have currently decontaminated more than 3,000 masks.

Alexandra Elliott, WVU BioSafety Officer (WVU Photo)

“We have a great team at the Health Sciences Safety Office,” Elliott said. “It’s been great to work with the National Guard and we appreciate all their teamwork during this process also. We’re just thankful to have the opportunity to help out these healthcare workers in West Virginia.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, personal protective equipment, like masks, have been in short supply for much of the pandemic, so the collaboration helps to address the shortages in healthcare systems in the state, according to a WVU press release.

In addition to helping the National Guard, Elliot said, said they also started decontaminating masks for the dental school this week and will soon offer their services to other departments and researchers at the Health Sciences Center.

“We’ll continue to do that for however long they need that service,” Elliott said.

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