Local business halts services to make masks for the community
The Florida Department of Health recently implemented Emergency Order 20-03 that states, every person working, living, visiting, or doing business in the City of Boca Raton is encouraged to wear a cloth facial covering consistent with the current CDC guidelines while in any public place.
The influx of COVID-19 cases in Palm Beach County has left many in the community scrambling for protective face masks.
To assist in providing masks for the community, a local business has halted their regular activities to make masks for the community.
Peterson’s Laboratory, located in Delray Beach, works as a Dental laboratory providing medical appliances to dentists for things like crowns, bridges, and dentures.
As a result of the current COVID-19 quarantine, Peterson’s laboratory nearly slowed down to a halt while leaving them wondering what they can do to help.
Their six 3D printers previously used to create dental impressions, have now been repurposed into printing masks for medical professionals and members of the community.
“We have been running about 24 hours a day making masks”, states Chris Peterson, owner of Peterson’s Laboratory.
Chris Peterson was motivated to create masks for a couple of reasons, “one is that people need masks and the other is to keep some of our staff employed and keep the lights on in the facility.”
For many local businesses, it is important to maintain some normalcy during these trying times and give employees a way to still claim a paycheck at the end of the day. “Businesses have got to be open when this is all over so surely we can kill a couple birds with one stone…help some people while also keeping some staff employed.”
Horror stories of medical professionals running out of masks have recently surfaced in states with overwhelming cases of COVID-19. Medical professionals maintaining anonymity, outline their experiences during a shift at a NYC hospital centered around being forced to reuse single-use masks due to recent shortage.
Although COVID-19 cases have not yet hit Florida as hard as New York, it is very likely that we could continue seeing the number of confirmed cases in Florida rise throughout the next couple of weeks.
Although there are so many medical professionals in need of masks, Peterson’s may not be able to directly equip hospitals with masks due to the specified N95 mask model required.
Peterson’s Laboratory is an FDA certified facility for producing medical devices, not N95 masks.
“At the end of the day, right now we cannot produce a certified mask to send to hospitals due to the requirement of N95 certified masks. However, we do use comparable materials to an N95 mask.”
Peterson’s is still doing everything they can to provide masks to medical professionals that reach out, “We do have a lot of nurses that really need masks and are asking for them directly, so we are donating what we can to them.”
Peterson’s goal is to provide the community with proper protection against the virus. Some of the masks produced are gifted, while others can be purchased on their Etsy page.
The masks produced by Peterson’s Laboratory can be found on their Facebook page “Peterson’s Printing” where you can find Etsy links on where the masks can be purchased.