As COVID-19 continues to spread, so does the need for face masks. Medical-grade masks and N95 respirators have been largely reserved for medical professionals and first responders, requiring the public to craft or buy their own made out of fabric.
To help mitigate the need, San Antonio's own Jon Hart Design, famed for its monogramed leather and canvas bags, is redeploying some staff and materials to make protective face masks.
Working with area partners San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, GameGuard, JoAnn Fabrics, and SAS (San Antonio Shoe) to fulfill orders, Jon Hart Design crafted 1,000 face coverings during its first day of production. That number, said Sharon Durham, president of Jon Hart Design, is expected to eventually climb to 3,000 masks per day. Those interested in purchasing a mask can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The company's "duckbill mask" was initially designed with input from a registered ICU nurse and then modified after the company received feedback on the first versions. It now meets all CDC recommendations and even has a pocket for a filter.
With its newest initiative, the company now joins the 100 Million Mask Challenge, led by a Washington State-based healthcare provider and the American Hospital Association. The challenge asks American manufacturers like Jon Hart Design to create, well, 100 million masks.
“Our team began looking at ways we could quickly utilize our abilities and resources to help combat in the shared fight against COVID-19 while keeping as many team members working and employed as possible,” said Durham. “We are working around the clock with our incredible partners and sewers to fill orders and help protect members of the community.”
According to the company, the project has also allowed it to rehire 12 sewers, all of whom work in shifts to maintain social distancing.