(24/7 News) -- Ohio Governor Mike DeWine went to the top to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve new technology to sterilize surgical masks, which are currently in short supply amid the coronavirus crisis. The technology in question comes from Battelle Memorial Institute, an applied science and technology-development company headquartered in Columbus.
Officials say the company has come up with new machine technology that would enable healthcare workers to sterilize up to 80- thousand face masks per day. The company reportedly has two machines ready to go, but needs federal approval before it can put them to work.
Governor Dewine expressed outrage when FDA approved Battelle to sterilize only 10,000 masks per day, and asked President Trump to order the FDA to approve many more per day.
The president tweeted Sunday about the process saying the FDA must "move quickly" and later Sunday night it was announced that the FDA had given full approval of the technology.
According to a press release sent Sunday night from Battelle, the company’s Critical Care Decontamination System is now operating at Battelle’s West Jefferson, Ohio, facility.
The system can decontaminate the same respirator mask up to 20 times without degrading the mask’s performance.