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P. Graham Dunn pitches in to produce medical masks

Robert Shetler, vice president of manufacturing at P. Graham Dunn, shows one of the masks the Dalton business began manufacturing on Friday. The factory plans to make 435,000 pieces to be shipped to Yale Medical Center in Connecticut, and used by hospitals across the nation. PHOTO PROVIDED

DGKN staff report

DALTON P. Graham Dunn is helping the medical community during this critical time by making close to half a million masks.

The factory, which manufactures art, gift and home décor, began manual production of personal protective equipment on Friday, according to a news release from P. Graham Dunn. Employees began an initial batch of the equipment, with a goal to assemble 85,000 masks with an immediate ship date.

This week, the factory is expected to ramp up resources and plans to assemble an additional 350,000 pieces that will ship upon completion and be utilized in hospitals across the nation. Once produced, this equipment will ship to Yale Medical Center in New Haven, Connecticut. Ultimately, the masks will be utilized by doctors and nurses who are tirelessly fighting to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the news release states.

“We are excited to work alongside the medical community and utilize the infrastructure we already have in place at P. Graham Dunn to aid in the fight against this virus,” Robert Shetler, vice president of manufacturing at P. Graham Dunn, said in the news release. “An opportunity like this allows us to keep our factory open and able to assist in this urgent time of need.”

Other businesses are joining in to help at this time.

In Stark County, Gervasi Vineyard announced last week that they are in the process of procuring the necessary ingredients and packaging supplies for production of hand sanitizer. The estate’s newest addition, the distillery, known as The Still House, has most of the equipment and ingredients, including grain alcohol, to produce this much-needed product during the pandemic, according to a news release from Gervasi.

“As soon as we learned we were permitted to convert our distillery operation to making hand sanitizer, we knew this was something we wanted to do,” Scott Swaldo, General Manager, GV Destinations, said in the news release. “Repurposing the distillery gives us a unique way to really help our community with something desperately needed during this crisis.”

The winery and distillery teams are working together to collect the necessary blend of ingredients to create the hand sanitizer. In addition, research for the correct formula and following the legal guidelines are a top priority. The key ingredients for the formulation being followed by Gervasi Vineyard include: ethanol, glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and purified water.

“We reached out to our community asking for leads on supplies and the response was amazing! We received over 30 direct leads and hundreds of messages of support,” Swaldo in the release.


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