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Pop-Up Factory hopes to fill need for PPE during coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

More than 60 volunteers are set to produce 7 different types of equipment

CAMDEN, Maine — A non-profit organization in the Mid-Coast hopes to produce a variety of PPE equipment on a larger scale to meet the need here in Maine and out of state.

Volunteers are working inside a former MBNA bank building, making prototypes of PPE. 

Utilizing laser cutters, 3D printers and sewing machines coupled with a range of skills to produce more than a half dozen types of protective equipment.

Disposable respirators, surgical gowns, face shields, and face masks to cover an N-95. They are also making 'sew-at-home kits' complete with materials and instructions.  

Michael Mullins owns the building, which also houses an auto restoration company. The Mid-Coast Pop Up PPE Factory, a non-profit organization is located in a 4,000 square feet and has 60 volunteers.

Moved by images of hospital staff in New York City using trash bags because of the lack of protective gear, Mullins wanted to do his part during the COVID-19 crisis.

"Trying to send things directly to the front lines so it doesn't get stuck in a backlog, that means we will be focusing on places outside of Maine, that have a pressing need for equipment," said Michael Mullins, who started the Mid-Coast Pop Up PPE Factory.

The hope is to produce several hundred items of PPE per week for the general public and medical workers who ask for them. The ongoing demand for protective gear is an opportunity for skilled workers in the community, including some who are unemployed to help to fill an important gap during the COVID-19 crisis.  

A possible example for other communities to start up production for protective gear instead of relying on other sources out of state or foreign countries.

For information on how you can volunteer or help you can email the Mid-Coast Pup-Up PPE Factory or on Facebook go here.

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