A pair of Muskoka businesses are coming together to manufacture Personalized Protective Equipment (PPE) Face Shields for front line workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bracebridge Councillor Andrew Struthers who also works as Director of Operations for True North Printed Plastics Inc., along with Dentist at Huntsville’s Dairy Lane Dental Dr. Shervin Rowshani have combined their knowledge, connections and resources to supply world-wide PPE Face Shields.

Since the start of April, their team has designed engineered and started manufacturing face shields with the capacity to produce 9,000 per day.

In an interview with MyMuskokaNow, Dr. Rowshani says they are receiving orders from all EMT and frontline care providers.

“From senior citizens all the way to fire departments, the dental community – we’ve had orders of thousands from around the country. We just shipped an order of hundreds today for Winnipeg. We’re getting orders from Alberta, Vancouver; we’ve also seen inquiries from the U.S.A. and Africa.”

Additionally, the manufacturing cost has been strategically engineered to provide the most face shields at the best price with the highest performance.

Struthers says they’ve repurposed parts of their factory in Bracebridge into proper assembly stations where staff members at both True North and Dairy Lane Dental are able to manufacture them with ease.

“So it’s using a number of technologies often used for designing electronics or other products that we can figure out how to adapt to meet this growing demand in need and try and serve the community.”

Struthers adds that the public should be aware that this original solution Project PPE for the Muskoka Region has now become a national resource.

In terms of their next steps, Dr. Rowshani notes the device is now being assessed by Health Canada as part of the national crisis response to be certified as a class one medical device.

“We are in the process of obtaining a manufacturing license so, once we get that then we can officially let the doors open to the actual medical facilities that the government procures for them. If that happens, we’re looking at orders of 500,000 to 1,000,000, so, when we get to that point – that’s when we can hit the ground running.”

The urgency for approval of the licensing from Health Canada as a class one device is critical to the continued success of this initiative.

To date, Dr. Rowshani notes this project has been financed from the partners’ family savings and they have not placed demands on government strained resources.