Yooper hat maker shifts to making masks, gowns for medical staff

via WLUC Fox UP/TV6

A longtime Upper Michigan company is helping out during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Stormy Kromer, in Ironwood, has begun making masks and hospital gowns. This is what the organization had to say about it:

"Late last week, we received our first call from a local hospital asking if we had any capacity to produce masks and/or hospital gowns. The calls continued over the weekend, all from hospitals that did not have adequate supplies for their staff who are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

"A small team of our sewing engineers, production and purchasing managers met on Sunday to discuss this critical need and how we could help. By that evening, we created a mask sample according to one of the hospital’s specifications and an employee’s husband was driving 150 miles to hand deliver it.

"[Wednesday], we started production and will sew about 1,000 masks. These are not N-95 masks, but they use a coated exterior fabric with a cotton lining to provide protection. The women sewing these masks were making Stormy Kromer products last week – and are proud to be working on these essential items today. We started with a smaller crew, and hope to add more of our sewing machine operators to the line as we continue to receive orders.

"We have also received an initial order for gowns and will begin producing those later this week. Our engineers are also working on booties and a few other products requested by healthcare facilities.

"We are so grateful to have employees that would come in on the weekend to work on this, would work so fast to create the prototypes and would come in to work with a smile on their face to get these products produced as quickly as possible. We are doing everything we can to create the safest possible environment for our workers – we’ve implemented additional cleaning, separated the work stations and have ensured that only those that are essential to products personal protective equipment are on site.

"The only way we will get through this crisis is together."

Check out Srormy Kromer's Facebook Page. Click here

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