U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is urging the Secretary of Defense to review the modular pressure mobile containment systems that can offer a Military Treatment Facility (MTF) or hospital the capability to treat patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
In a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Collins called on him to assess DOD’s requirement for negative air pressure room containment systems to ensure it has adequate equipment on-hand for future pandemics or similar emergencies. This is in line with the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which requires the Department of Defense (DoD) to review and update its inventory of medical supplies and equipment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for rapid scalability of treatment containment solutions to address outbreak surges in both military and civilian treatment facilities. During the ongoing crisis, the nation saw a huge spike in demand for modular negative pressure mobile containment rooms that can offer a MTF or hospital the capability to safely assess and treat patients with suspected COVID-19 symptoms,” Collins wrote. “I respectfully request that the Department’s Section 732 review include an assessment of such negative air pressure room containment systems, consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.”
Collins, a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, visited STARC Systems in Brunswick, Maine, last year, which produces modular, reusable containment walls that can create negative air pressure isolation rooms.