Drive-through testing for the Coronavirus at the University of Dayton Arena last week. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Coronavirus: Coalition asks Dayton companies if they can make protective gear

The Dayton Development Coalition is asking area businesses if they can help produce crucial protective gear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Does your company have extra personal protection equipment (PPE),” part of a new email from the Dayton Development Coalition asks. “Are you a manufacturer who can make PPE?”

The email was sent out to some 5,000 recipients Monday morning, a coalition spokeswoman said.

“There are several companies in the region looking at whether they can provide or produce personal protective equipment,” said Shannon Joyce Neal, vice president of strategic communications at the coalition.

A spokeswoman for Kettering Health Network, Elizabeth Long, Monday afternoon confirmed that the Health Network has reached an agreement with Goodwill/Easter Seals Miami Valley and the Dayton Sewing Collaborative on addressing a pressing local and national need: The production of face masks.

Brenda Rex, director of the Sewing Collaborative, also confirmed the agreement Monday. 

Long agreed it was gratifying to see local organizations pull together to address the ongoing need.

“We do appreciate the outpouring of support,” Long said. “I think it’s just so characteristic. We’re grateful for the people who want to help.”

The coalition’s email asks Dayton companies to respond to a White House survey as the federal government seeks businesses who can provide and produce large-scale quantities of critical supplies to help the nation respond to the pandemic.

The coalition is asking companies who believe they can help to contact Mitch Heaton, coalition vice president of economic development, at mheaton@daytonregion.com.

The availability of face masks and protective gear is no small issue. Even as tests for COVID-19 are slowly becoming more available, supplies of face masks and other protective gear needed for those administering the tests have been increasingly scarce. The shortage is itself affecting the pace of testing, nationally.

As a result, some health officials are discouraging people from seeking the test if they are only mildly ill.

The coalition is also planning to host a roundtable for defense contractors Thursday afternoon via a Zoom web link.

And the coalition is encouraging members to consider a Small Business Administration webinar with the SBA’s Columbus District Office Tuesday afternoon.

The purpose of this webinar is to walk businesses through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

The dial-in conference number for the 2:30 p.m. webinar on Tuesday is (937) 314-3034. No PIN needed. A web link is https://www.uberconference.com/room/mshimp

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