Yesterday, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro toured manufacturers in Dutchess and Ulster counties now producing protective face shields to protect first responders, healthcare professionals, nursing homes, law enforcement and corrections officers, and other key public and private essential employees who are combating the pandemic on the front lines.
Several businesses throughout Dutchess County and the Hudson Valley have converted their manufacturing efforts to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers battling the spread of Coronavirus locally and throughout the region.
County Executive Molinaro said, “The Hudson Valley is blessed to host a number of the world’s best manufacturers, and in this time of global crisis, these creative minds have turned their talents and resources to saving their lives of their regional neighbors. We thank all those who are producing the critical personal protective equipment that will protect local residents during these unprecedented times, and look forward to getting the fruits of their labor into the skilled hands that need them most.”
Molinaro visited Rhinebeck-based Unlimited Tomorrow, which uses 3D printing to produce personalized prosthetic limbs for amputees throughout the country, is now producing protective face shields for healthcare workers.
Unlimited Tomorrow Founder and CEO Easton LaChappelle said, “Unlimited Tomorrow has long worked to enhance the lives of people; and now more than ever, our innovation is able to protect people – not just here in Dutchess County, but throughout the region – by shifting our focus and producing protective face shields. We’re proud to be a business in Dutchess County helping to save lives, proving innovation and creativity transcend geography.”
County Executive Molinaro also joined Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan to visit Usheco in Kingston, which manufactures custom plastic parts and is producing protective face shields using a mold created at SUNY New Paltz. Dutchess County is jointly purchasing the initial 10,000 protective face shields Usheco is producing, in a partnership between Dutchess and Ulster counties.
Usheco President Wayne Schaeffer said, “We are proud to assist local counties in the fight against COVID-19. As the world fights this pandemic together, Usheco has turned its energy and resources play a vital role in keeping responders and healthcare professionals in Dutchess and Ulster counties safe as they protect those affected by this virus.”
Other Dutchess companies that have shifted their operations include Hudson Valley Plastics in Pawling, which is producing protective face shields and has donated 100 of the face shields to local first responders; and Hopewell Junction’s Unshattered, which normally produces sustainable handbags, made by and benefiting local women battling addiction, is now using its materials to sew face masks for hospital workers and healthcare professionals.
Dutchess County Government continues to provide residents the most current information on its COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard, and further updates and guidance are available on its website, dutchessny.gov/coronavirus, its Coronavirus hotline, (845) 486-3555, and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.