MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Through its Uniform Production Unit, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office announced it will be making masks to help provide personal protective equipment for first responders and other workers facing exposure to COVID-19.
The facility is located at the Manatee County Jail and is staffed with a sewing instructor, deputies and inmates. They are producing close to 100 masks a day out of material normally used for making bed sheets and a filtered fabric used as backing for embroidery on T-shirts.
“We looked at the material we had in our uniform production shop and decided why not make masks for first responders and other workers on the frontlines,” said Sheriff Rick Wells.
The sheriff’s office said a sewing instructor and deputies researched how to create medical-grade masks with breathable cotton and a filter insert. The Uniform Production Unit has produced several hundred masks for personnel at the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center so far.
Additionally, the sheriff wanted to donate masks to people who are at risk of catching the virus such as grocery store employees.
“Even while taking precautions, we know many of those workers are coming face to face with people all day long, so we wanted to share some of our extra masks with them,” Wells said.
On Wednesday, deputies delivered roughly 100 masks to Winn Dixie and Detwiler’s Farm Market in Palmetto, the sheriff’s office said.
WHAT TO KNOW:
- Florida is reporting 47,471 cases and 2,069 deaths
- Florida K-12 schools will remain online/distance learning through the end of the school year
- Florida in Phase One of reopening
- Travelers from NY tri-state area and New Orleans coming to Florida must quarantine for 14 days
LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:
- Tampa Bay nursing home residents dealing with isolation during pandemic
- Florida unemployment claims continue to climb as US adds 2.5M jobs in May
- Phase Two promising for Florida’s tourism economy
- Florida sees record increase in coronavirus cases, millennials make up most Hillsborough cases
- Safari Wilderness Ranch provides families with up-close exotic animal experience from car in Lakeland