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Evaluation of low-cost methods to decontaminate N95 filtering facepiece respirators in low-resource settings during the COVID-19 pandemic

With Pengbo Liu, PhD, MPH (Co-PI), Christine Moe, Danny Wilson, Ashley Styczynski, Nichole Starr, and N95Decon.

The global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) - including surgical masks, N95 filtering facepiece respirators, gloves, and gowns - has been limited during the current pandemic. PPE serves as a first line of defense for healthcare workers and can play an important role in helping slow transmission of airborne pathogens like SARS-CoV-2. Our work focuses on two PPE-related aspects of the current pandemic. First, we will survey healthcare workers and facilities globally on their supply of PPE and usage practices. Second, we will evaluate methods of decontaminating cloth, surgical, and N95 masks that may be relevant for low-resource settings. Taken together, our findings can help optimize resource allocation and extend the use of existing supplies of PPE using decontamination methods suitable for low-resource settings.