Colorado State University has been asked by Gov. Jared Polis and the State of Colorado to organize testing of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the state’s healthcare workers from the COVID-19 virus. CSU’s role will be to initiate and coordinate testing to provide recommendations to the state on PPE distribution.
The governor announced CSU’s role on March 25 as the state prepared to receive shipments of urgently needed PPE from outside the state as well as PPE that could be manufactured in Colorado. CSU’s priority will be on testing PPEs that either meet – or are close to – existing federal requirements.
The testing network for assessing PPE qualification includes a partnership of research institutions across the state that will consider items such as masks, face shields and respirators.
Prioritizing protective masks: CSU Vice President for Research Alan Rudolph says N95 masks coming from outside the state will be the initial testing priority at CSU. The university’s role will also be to make recommendations to the state on the suitability of a PPE mask for large-scale production and distribution to healthcare workers in Colorado. (Note: Dr. Rudolph is the CO-LABS Board Chair as well.)
“Our first focus will be on testing masks that meet or are close to N95 respirator specifications coming from outside the state,” said Rudolph. “We are doing this to prioritize testing of masks to help protect medical healthcare professionals in the state who may be exposed to the virus while providing healthcare services.”
CSU could eventually add testing of other PPEs such as face shields, gowns and other types of respirators. READ MORE.