This local lab is making masks for frontline workers; looking to expand to the Peninsula

The Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center‘s Innovation Lab is using its 3D Printers to make face masks for frontliners.

Kim Lee, spokeswoman for the city of Newport News, wrote in an email on Tuesday, the lab can print five masks per day and the initiative is through Old Dominion University.

“ODU’s facilities have been using have been producing ventilator masks for medical and emergency professionals in the area,” she wrote. “While the masks have primarily been produced for CHKD and Sentara Norfolk General, we are working to identify what facilities on the peninsula can benefit from these masks.”

Brooks Crossing is not the only agency on the Peninsula making masks and other personal protective equipment for health care workers.

Since April 8, the Williamsburg Regional Library is using its 3D printers to make free face shields and is delivering them to several community organizations. Recipients of these shields include long-term care facilities such as Consulate Health Care and doctor’s offices like the Pediatrics Associates of Williamsburg.

Another person making PPE is Dave Kashy, a mechanical engineer from Jefferson Lab. After working with Riverside, he created intubation boxes for health care workers. The clear, plastic boxes are placed around a patient’s head to protect staff from virus droplets.

As of Tuesday, there are now a total of 9,630 positive cases of the coronavirus and 324 deaths statewide, according to the VDH website.

At least 20 people from the Peninsula Health District and one person from the Hampton Heath District have died from the coronavirus.

The Peninsula Health District covers Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County and York County. The Hampton Health District covers Hampton.

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