Partners HealthCare, Battelle and the City of Somerville today announced a partnership that will offer hospitals, first responders and medical professionals a new, regional resource in the battle against COVID-19.

The Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System is scheduled to be operational in the Boston-area next week. The Battelle system which has received emergency use authorization from the FDA will be just the fourth such site in the US. The Battelle owned and operated system will be hosted by Partners HealthCare in close proximity to their corporate offices at Assembly Row in Somerville. The site where it will operate is the currently empty former K-mart store, which Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone secured using emergency powers granted to him as a part of the City’s response to current health crisis. The system can decontaminate up to 80,000 masks per day.

“This is a critically important step forward in our efforts to protect health care workers on the front lines,” said Dr. Paul Biddinger, Medical Director for Emergency Preparedness at Partners HealthCare. “By sterilizing 80,000 masks per day, this region will have a greatly improved supply of N95 respirator masks, keeping our workforce safe, ultimately improving access to care for patients in need during this pandemic.”

“The Battelle team has been working around the clock for several weeks to build, test and mobilize this system so we can increase the supplies of critically needed personal protective equipment in Boston and cities around the U.S.,” said Matt Vaughan, Battelle’s Contract Research President.

"We've got to move fast and be nimble to handle the coming coronavirus surge. It hasn't even been a week since Battelle's technology got approved by the FDA. Partners is able to bring it over and we're able to provide them with a facility where they can use it,” said City of Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “This is how it's supposed to work in a crisis. Everybody comes together to do big things. The whole purpose of having emergency powers at a time like this is to use them. In this case we're able to put technology into production that's going to protect the frontline healthcare workers who are protecting all of us."