Local business begins face shield production

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- Medical professionals and government leaders make constant pleas for personal protection equipment, and one local business is answering the call, Interstate Graphics.

"We did not have any orders for these, we just wanted to start small and see where it would go," Part Owner of Interstate Graphics Jim Norwood said.

The Machesney Park-based business produces digitally screen-printed graphics, signs, vehicle lettering, and now face shields.

"The main thing is these are meant to be used with other P.P.E equipment specifically face masks,” Norwood said.

Norwood says the three owners discussed starting face shield production two weeks ago. They ordered material to make 5,000 shields without any orders from buyers. Just days later the orders began pouring in.

"We're ramping up production and we have orders like I said for 17,000 of these and hopefully many more."

The shields are being used more often by medical professionals. Infection Protection Specialist at SwedishAmerican Jennifer Kline says the shields are vital for her colleagues’ safety.

"The face shields are essential to our daily operations, they are one of the first lines of protection," Kline said.

For Interstate Graphics, it’s all about joining the fight against the virus.

"We're just one of many businesses that are trying to come up with something that can help," Norwood said.