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MSU offers housing, decontaminates masks for health care workers

April 6, 2020
<p>Drive-through COVID-19 patients waiting to get through first stage of screening at Michigan State University&#x27;s drive-through testing site on April 2, 2020.</p>

Drive-through COVID-19 patients waiting to get through first stage of screening at Michigan State University's drive-through testing site on April 2, 2020.

Photo by Di'Amond Moore | The State News

Michigan State is offering its Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center to house front-line health care workers and first responders who need to self isolate as well as using specialized equipment to clean and decontaminate used N95 masks.

According to MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., the university has offered a number of campus buildings to the state.

“We’ve offered the Breslin, we've offered the Pavilion, we’ve offered our dormitories, we've offered the Kellogg Center, we’ve offered everything we think is helpful in this to the state as they respond to this so we will continue to do that,” Stanley said.

Many front-line health care workers and first responders are working against the outbreak, unable to go home.

McLaren Health Care System and Sparrow Health System health care workers are welcomed to stay at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center at a discounted rate, while the hotel is closed for other guests. 

In order to reduce guest and staff interactions, new procedures are being put in place for contact-free check in and check out. This includes linen exchanges and cleaning supplies. Rooms will be cleaned and left undisturbed for a minimum of 24 hours before being checked out again.

Additionally, MSU Extension Food Processing Innovation Center is partnering with Sparrow Health System in order to decontaminate equipment.

According to MSU Today, MSU Extension Director Jeff Dwyer says the staff is developing protocols to be replicated by others who may have commercial-scale spiral ovens.

“We’re having experts help in a number of areas,” Stanley said. “One area is in decontamination, how you decontaminate masks so you can reuse them, decontaminate hospital gowns so you can reuse them. So, we’re involved in conversation with the state to figure out better ways we might be able to help with that. We have some technologies we think could help with that.”

The Kellogg Center’s staff is using their equipment to heat masks to kill off the viruses and bacteria. 

The masks are sealed into individual bags for three days to further decontaminate, then they run a test to confirm they were properly decontaminated before given to the health care workers.

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