A Calgary company is planning to start churning out medical-grade face masks in huge quantities.
A release from the Province of Alberta states that Calgary’s own Orpyx Medical Technologies has signed a $60 million agreement with Alberta Health Services to produce over 40 million masks over the next two years.
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The partnership was started when Orpyx responded to the province’s call for local organizations to support in coronavirus response efforts by manufacturing goods through the Bits and Pieces Program.
The company started manufacturing masks in August and delivered its first supply in September. The supply was much needed as the Province of Alberta’s release states that AHS’ daily mask usage jumped from 33,000 per day pre-COVID to a current average of 600,000 per day.
“This is a great example of the way businesses have stepped up to help get us through the pandemic, and the importance of health care as an economic driver,” said Alberta’s Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro, in the release.
“Sourcing masks from Orpyx, an established Calgary-based company, helps us continue protecting health-care workers and the public from COVID-19.”
The release also noted that the new investment will create up to 100 jobs as a result of the increase in manufacturing at Orpyx.
“What started as an initiative to collect PPE donations to support Calgary health-care facilities, quickly led to discussions among Calgary business leaders on local manufacturing capabilities,” said Orpyx president and CEO, Dr. Breanne Everett, in the release.
“Through our collaboration with Fidelity Machine and Mould Solutions, Engineered Air, and Edon Management, we are now producing three-ply procedural face masks with plenty of room to expand.”
The masks meet international ASTM F2100 medical face mask level 1 standards according to the release, and have been verified by both AHS and an independent testing lab.