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WV receiving mask decontamination system, WVU to train public health investigators for contact tracing

West Virginia

In this illustration dated February 26, 2020, protective N-95 face masks lie on a table at an office in Washington, DC. (Photo by EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has secured access to a high-capacity decontamination system by working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state of Virginia.

The governor says the system, one of 25 units in the country, has the capacity to cleanse 80,000 N-95 masks per day. The system costs $1 million, which Justice says is being carried by the federal government.

West Virginia University School of Public Health and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources are partnering in an effort to recruit participants to train as public health investigators. The governor says those who pass the course, which launches this week, will be able to assist with contact tracing for COVID-19 cases.

Justice has said as part of the plan to reopen, the state needs to increase both the availability of personal protective equipment and the ability to trace contacts of COVID-19 positive patients within the state.

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