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Community Members Work To Provide PPE For Essential Workers

Robyn Hunsinger


Personal protective equipment is in high demand right now for essential workers.Community members are working together to produce the needed gear.      

“It’s like a grassroots type thing where people always think, well, ‘what can I do? Where can I help?'" Mike Stokes said.

Stokes is a volunteer at the Center for Persons with Disabilities's Utah Assistive Technology Program at Utah State University. He began leading an effort to make face shields for medical workers with 3-D printers. He is among many people in the state who are working to provide personal protective equipment, or PPE, to essential workers. 

Stokes said the idea came to him after a conversation with a relative who works as a dentist. Not only did he find a need for face masks, but even more so for face shields.  


“We added some spacing on the part that’s on the brow above your eyes so that it would clear your glasses if you’re wearing glasses and a mask," he said.

Stokes' efforts quickly led to a collaboration with the College of Engineering and the Center for Persons with Disabilities at USU.

According to Stokes, the design qualifies as medical grade and both the Bear River Health Department and Intermountain Healthcare. 

Other people who want to help are making face masks, including Eileen Sheen who is working with her church group to provide masks to Little Lambs and CAPSA. 

“When I heard what they were doing, I just said, ‘what can I do to help?’” Sheen said.

According to Stokes, anyone with access to a 3-D printer can help make PPE. They also need old overhead projector transparencies from schools or teachers and have a dropbox set up at USU’s campus.