Sign up for KYW Newsradio’s daily newsletter for the latest on the coronavirus pandemic across the Philadelphia region.
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Many hospitals are short on crucial supplies right now — face masks, gloves, gowns, goggles, swabs. More gear is forthcoming from the federal government, but some medical providers have reached out to their communities for donations in the meantime.
One group took it upon themselves to take that ask a step further.
There are no students inside Kohelet Yeshiva High School on the Main Line, due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, but school board member Lori Salkin said work is still underway in the building.
“We said, you know what, we have this incredible, state-of-the-art Fab Lab sitting here, we better put it to good use,” she recalled.
Good use, indeed: They’re 3D-printing surgical face shields for health care workers.
“These are masks that we’ve created, 3D-printing in our school, that have been approved by Lankenau hospital for our medical professionals out there trying to fight COVID-19,” Salkin said.
Right now, they’re able to make about two dozen shields a day for Lankenau, but the school wants to see that number increase.
“We are hoping to double our production by changing the way we are creating the masks using laser cutters rather than 3D printers,” she explained. “We should be able to produce the major parts significantly quicker so we can produce as many as possible to help out.”
Salkin also hopes they’ll be able to deliver the face shields to additional hospitals in the near future, but for now, it’s one step at a time.