WORTHINGTON, Minn. (KELO) – When one KELOLAND company found out some health care providers across the country are beginning to improvise with some protective equipment in the fight against COVID-19, they decided to get involved and make sure people are protected.
Bedford Industries has been in the twist tie industry for over 50 years.
“That’s what we do for bakers all across the United States, one of the products that’s a version of our twist tie is the nose wire in the top of a face mask that bends around the nose and makes that shape,” president Bedford Industries, Jay Milbrandt said.
But then came a twist to their business model. As news surrounding COVID-19 makes headlines, the southwest Minnesota company decided to get involved to provide protective equipment for medical staff.
“We also make a product called the ElastiTag that is used for a lot of things and we were able to come up with a shield version that was clear and is a lot like a big version of our ElastiTag,” Milbrandt said.
President Jay Milbrandt says the shield is easy to use.
“The shield is this clear, plastic film, it is essentially a splash barrier, it’s intended to protect those N95 respirators and other masks, and allow for reuse of those respirators, so it’s protecting against coughs, protecting against splashes and is a physical barrier,” Milbrandt said.
Milbrandt says they received FDA registration for the product and are working with Sanford to bring the product to local hospitals in the region.
“We actually just got into full production last night after a high-speed tooling started arriving, and so this morning we started the first 10,000 so I think we are going to be moving that across several lines as we scale up so our first goal to get between 25,000 and 50,000 by the end of the week per day,” Milbrandt said.
Milbrandt says the goal for next week is to be making 100,000 of the shields a day. He adds they eventually plan to be working with hospitals nationwide as well.