GASTONIA, N.C. (Charlotte Observer) - Amid warnings of an impending shortage of protective equipment for medical staff, a Gastonia-based textile company is organizing a national effort to ramp up production of face masks for healthcare workers.
The decision, according to NCTO, “heeds call of nation” to help.
While the companies are often competitors in the marketplace, they “are banding together for the greater good of a nation facing one if its most monumental challenges,” the statement said.
Across the country, medical workers face a shortage of personal protective equipment on the front lines of the response to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus. Health officials have said that panic-buying of the masks by people who do not need them can exacerbate the shortage, forcing health care workers to reuse or improvise protective equipment, often with greater risk.
Anderson Warlick, the president and CEO of Parkdale, worked closely with White House officials to expedite the process through “bureaucratic red tape,” the NCTO said, allowing production to begin soon after the masks were approved and certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Production is expected to begin on Monday, the NCTO said, with deliveries starting in the middle of the week. Once at full capacity (in about four to five weeks) the coalition expects to produce up to 10 million face masks per week.