Retooling and Pivoting to PPE
April 27, 2020
Since pivoting earlier this month to heed the call from front-line workers, we have been able to meet the need of face shields across three states – Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania.
A foundation reached out to us, asking if we could produce 1000 masks in order to meet the need in two states where they had a footprint. Like several businesses, some of our customers had been slow to pay their accounts receivable, so we ceased production on their products and pivoted to making the face shields. That 1000 mask number increased to over 14,000. This week we will have met the halfway point of this project.
Missouri doctor who received an Electro Soft manufactured face shield
The most amazing thing about this project is the kindness and appreciation shown by the doctors who were literally using takeout containers and trash bags as personal protective equipment (PPE).
And while raw material has been difficult to obtain, we tried reaching out directly to the manufacturer of one of the materials we used, only to be told, “our products were not meant to be used as PPE.” Definitely their legal team penned that response. But then we were met with the complete opposite response when we reached out to the President of another company whose material is used in the construction of the shields. He immediately sent a full pallet of supplies at a discounted cost, within DAYS.
Like that first company, our insurance company was a little uneasy about what we were doing and wanted to beef up our policy. And we could have easily stopped doing what we were doing in order to mitigate loss, but as human beings, making these masks quickly and for an affordable cost is the RIGHT thing to do, so we kept moving forward.
As we started constructing these masks for the foundation, we learned about the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium though a church announcement. Local black churches paired up with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to offer FREE testing to the minority community, which is being impacted at a disproportionately higher rate. Many African Americans are essential workers who cannot work from home, are front-line workers in hospitals (cleaning, hands-on patient care, etc), live in communities with little to no access to medical care, use public transportation as their primary means of travel, etc.
The consortium was using GoFundMe to raise money to pay for transportation and supplies to continue testing throughout the community. Unfortunately, like most health institutions, they had a hard time obtaining PPE. Electro Soft decided that we were going to provide all of the face shields for these doctors.
Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium
Since then, the doctors have been able to test close to 1,000 people who otherwise would not have had access to testing. One third of those tested were positive for COVID-19. We share this with you because there is still so much that isn’t known about this virus and who currently is infected. EVERYONE can do something in this fight. We are electronics manufacturers that were able to pivot to meet the need. While our effort is small in comparison to many, we are proud that we were able to contribute to health and safety of our neighbors both locally and across state lines.
Wishing you health and safety during this fight.