Abstract

During the COVID19 pandemic, various investigations have been conducted to determine if personal protective equipment (PPE), and specifically N95 masks, can be decontaminated for reuse when unused equipment is not available. One method under investigation that may be particularly adaptable in lower resource communities is the use of heat and humidity for the de-activation of SARS-CoV-2. Food-warming cabinets (also known as holding cabinets) may reach applicable temperatures and thus the purpose of this study was to characterize the temperatures achieved in a typical food-warming cabinets that has been adapted for the de-activation of N95 masks. This paper provides a general description of how a food-warming cabinet operates and describes aspects that are important for heat de-activation including characterizing cyclical heating and temperature variations within the cabinet. The described experimental procedure could be used as a guide to characterize similar food-warming cabinets.

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