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Colorado College making face shields to help fill shortage of PPEs during COVID-19 outbreak

Volunteers at Colorado College in Colorado Springs are trying to make a difference during the coronavirus pandemic, by making face shields to meet the strong demand from front-line health care workers and first responders.

Around 10 faculty and staff are working with local authorities to provide the clear plastic shields which cover the face -- and are attached by a visor and headband -- and protect the eyes and nose from infected droplets from people.

Although the guard covers the mouth, a breathing mask is still required for maximum protection.

CC's effort began several weeks ago as volunteers looked online through dozens of designs to choose an initial model, and that model is constantly updated based on new designs and feedback from users.

Computer data on the model is fed into a pair of 3-D printers which make the visor. Volunteers plan to use a larger printer in another department soon to increase its manufacturing capacity.

A laser machine cuts the face shield and other parts from a plastic mold, and volunteers eventually assemble a completed mask.

Volunteers have made around 50 shields so far, with the goal of making 100 or more per day; the shields can be sanitized at the end of a day's use and reused.

The shields will be distributed at no cost to users once 100 are finished, and once local authorities approve them.

Volunteers said the shields address one request from users that they be more comfortable during long shifts.

Although the shields aren't officially sanctioned by health organizations, the current shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) virtually assures that the shields will be used.

Volunteers have raised around $4,000 on its "Join us in Making PPE Face Shields" GoFundMe webpage, and is asking for more donations from anyone who wants to help.

The effort will continue for at least several months, volunteers said.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.


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