One day—that was all the time it took for the people at Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats to start a food drive in early April at their Cape Coral, Fla., facility in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That effort, with the collected dry goods and nonperishables transferred to the nearby Cape Coral Caring Center Food Pantry, is ongoing.
Safety mask production for Lee Health is yet another project the Nor-Tech team is tackling in its fight against COVID-19.
Led by company principal Trond Schou, the Nor-Tech team members weren’t finished with new initiatives to help thwart the novel coronavirus crisis. On the same day they began collecting food, they joined volunteers from Lee Health—a Southwest Florida-based healthcare services provider—in producing protective masks for emergency room patients.
Based on a prototype from the University of Florida, the masks are not replacements for N95 masks. They do, however, reportedly offer “a higher level of protection that cloth masks” as they are made of Halyard H600 two-ply spun polypropylene. Already used in hospitals, the material cannot be penetrated by water, bacteria or particles.
Dr. Asif Azam, the president of the Society of Hospital Medicine Southwest Florida Chapter who works at Lee Health, approached Nor-Tech for help. Nor-Tech is donating the masks directly to Lee Health.
The company issued the following statement on its Facebook page:
“Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats is doing our part in the global fight against COVID-19 with the production of face masks in our upholstery department. The hardworking ladies and gents of the Nor-Tech upholstery department will be able to make hundreds of masks to be given to local healthcare professionals. It is important we all come together to do help each other during this tough time.”
Said Nor-Tech’s vice-president of manufacturing Henrik Margård, “We have delivered more than 600 masks already and we are producing 100 per day as long as we have the material. As usual when it comes to serving our local community, Trond is all in—and for all of us, it’s nice to be able help.”