Penn state started a COVID-19 response initiative two weeks ago.

The university finds local manufactures that make equipment in high demand for local hospitals, clinics and senior car facilities, like, filtration masks, face shields, air respirators and protective suites. Penn State students and staff are also looking at how (PPE), personal protective equipment products can be sterilized. More than 250 at Penn State are designing, developing and testing work on medical products in high demand, for doctors and nurses, through the initiative, “Manufacturing and Sterlization for COVID-19”.

Departments at Penn State from Engineering to Architecture to Art have been working on the initiative.

Penn State Professor, Tim Simpson says the Governor’s “Stay at Home” mandate makes it even more crucial to work with local manufacturers.

“Now under these guidelines you’re not going to be able to easily transport things around, so being able to connect with and utilize local manufacturers to get you the PPE and other resources you need, becomes even more critical now Simpson, said.

Actuated Medical in Bellefonte is one of the local manufacturers Penn State is working with to help deliver pieces of equipment to doctors.

President and CEO Maureen Mulvihill says keeping people at home will mean there will be less of a chance her employees and workers transporting their face shields to hospitals, will get sick.

“My people need to be here, they need to be manufacturing these devices, because our clinicians and our caregivers need this device, and so by those people staying home, then our people can work harder and get these done and not risk themselves getting ill,” Mulvihill, said.

Mulvihill says the face shields allow doctors to work on a COVID-19 patient, while protecting the doctor from getting sick themselves. She says they don’t want hospitals to start quarantining staffs, due to doctors and nurses getting the coronavirus.

She says some of the face shields will be sent to Juniper Village Senior Living in State College, while they are also sending others some out of state, like to Louisiana and Texas.

Mulvihill, says the face shield production for her businesses and for others has helped the local economy that took a hit from all the businesses shutdown.