SAGINAW, Mich. — Hospitals across the globe are experiencing critical personal protective equipment (PPE) supply shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Team members at Duro-Last Inc. found a way to help.

Duro-Last engineers, product development and manufacturing staff united to fabricate and manufacture isolation gowns and face masks. Utilizing expertise in manufacturing flexible PVC and fabrics, the team went from prototype to production to delivery in one week.

The gowns are made from flexible PVC making them water and fluid-repellant. The masks are washable and reusable, made from polyester and PVC. Duro-Last reformulated products and retooled processes to manufacture these supplies.

“This is about helping health care professionals in any way we can and at the same time keeping people employed,” said Tom Saeli, Duro-Last CEO. “I am very proud of and impressed by the people in our company who quickly developed these products."

Duro-Last joins other Michigan-based companies like Ford and GM that are working with manufacturers to increase the production of much-needed items, with the automakers dedicating resources to creating ventilators, medical face shields, respirators and face masks.

"Our country is full of tremendously smart, entrepreneurial people who can bring timely solutions to this unprecedented need," said Saeli. "The need is real and I believe it’s our obligation to act now. If the efforts of our team inspire just one other company to join this fight, it will be worth it."