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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

Bloom Energy refurbishing ventilators in Newark

Bloom Energy

Bloom Energy has been refurbishing ventilators alongside its fuel cell production lines in Newark to try to help save lives during the coronavirus pandemic. Now the company is looking for new ways to find old ventilators in need of repair. 

The project started with a partnership between Bloom and the state of California where the company is headquartered. Bloom refurbished more than 500 ventilators that state either had stockpiled for emergency or received from the federal supply. 

“Refurbish the ventilators, return them to people who can allocate them appropriately and then fill the gap until other companies and the original equipment manufacturers of these ventilators are able to increase production,” said Bloom COO Susan Brennan. 

Bloom launched similar partnerships locally with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and First State hospitals. Officials say the first 32 refurbished ventilators to be distributed in Delaware were sent out Thursday.

“Here in Delaware, they’re currently working with Bayhealth. They’re taking out of service ventilators, servicing them, upgrading them and getting them back into service,” said Delaware’s junior Sen. Chris Coons. 

Brennan says between Delaware and California Bloom expects to send out about 1,000 refurbished ventilators by the end of the week.  After that, Bloom is constrained by the supply coming in. Brennan encourages people to contact Bloom if they know of ventilators that need work.

“We are looking for ventilators that are new or lightly used—where it’s refurbishment, not anything more than that,” said Brennan. “Changing the batteries, charging the batteries, calibrating the oxygen sensor, and really making sure they’re available for functional use.” 

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