Monroe County Community College staff make face shields, secure PPE thanks to donations

Staff supporting fight against COVID-19

Modified door handles produced by MCCC ASET Division. (MCCC)

MONROE, Mich. – Faculty and staff at Monroe County Community College’s new Makerspace facility have been called to produce face shields and secure other essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to support the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).

April 28, 2020 -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 39,262; Death toll now at 3,567

Mike Reaume is a technician in the Applied Science and Engineering Technology division. He took the lead for the ASET team to produce rapid prototyped parts in response to the need for PPE.

Three different types of face shields have been designed and are being made. ASET team members Robert Semanske, ASET lab technician and Jack Lamour, automotive service program coordinator, have been assisting with fabrication of the RP shields.

READ: Michigan State University uses vaporized hydrogen peroxide to clean PPE

The face shields being made are comprised of head gear, a plastic shield and elastic bands to hold the face shields in place.

“To date we have produced and distributed approximately 120 face shields and dozens of the mask adjusters,” said Parmeshwar Coomar, dean of the ASET division at MCCC. “Our goal is to produce more than 200 face shields and continue to make more of the adjusters and door devices before our on-hand supplies are exhausted.”

CNC machining instructor Troy Elliiott has begun to produce headgear bands for the masks in the college’s CNC lab. Other staff members have volunteered to take home vinyl sheets and foam to create another type of shield.

“Several corporations and organizations along with MCCC staff members who have made donations have been instrumental to making this effort possible,” said Dr. Kojo Quartey, president of MCCC. “DTE Foundation, the Monroe Kiwanis Club and the La-Z-Boy Foundation immediately responded by donating $1,000 each. In addition, our staff and faculty members have donated over $3,400 through payroll deduction, so far.”

Mask adjusters are used to relieve stress over the ears. They are now being made along with door handle attachments that limit direct hand contact when opening doors -- there’s also device to attach to bottom of doors to open the door when using the restroom and other similar facilities.

“Cajetan D’Cunha, grant writer/coordinator, has been critical to ensuring the masks and other materials are getting distributed to local and regional frontline service providers,” added Quartey. Equipment and supplies have been provided to the Monroe County Sherriff’s department, non-profits such as the Monroe County Opportunity Program MCOP, Oaks of Righteousness, St. Mary’s Hospital Livonia and local doctors’ offices, and Promedica facilities.

ASET is also working with Monroe High School and other facilities with RP printers to pool resources and produce head shields for distribution to other organizations in Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio.

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How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.