Protective respirators like FFP2, N95, and surgical masks are in a strained supply. To ensure the availability of masks, prolonged use, and reuse may be required.
The goal is to find techniques that allow to deactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus and retain filtering function. There is no guideline as of March 2020 from BAG.
Soap, alcohol, and chlorine-based reagents should not be considered, as they reduce the filtering function of the materials.
We found two guidelines from other countries that might be applicable until Bundesamt für Gesundheit (BAG) publishes its results, and are easily implementable:
The CDC (USA) recommends (in need) the prolonged use of masks for one day and dry them for 72h in between use to deactivate the virus.
The FDA (Taiwan) recommended the use of dry heat for short periods of time.
Translated to English in Taipei Times: FDA Director-General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said that masks can be put in a metal container on a metal rack in a rice cooker without water to dry for three minutes with the power on and another five minutes with no power. https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2020/04/06/2003734093
This is not a recommendation; it is a collection of information that is not verified by our own experiments. We communicated our findings to the responsible group at BAG. We recommend everyone to work according to BAG’s guidelines.