CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — While they have been forced out of the classroom by the coronavirus outbreak, a group of students from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino have jumped in to join the grassroots effort to produce medical protective shields needed by hospital workers on the front line of battle against the virus.
The students found designs for the masks online and using a 3D printer have began a makeshift assembly line to produce the most needed equipment that is in short supply right now.
On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom lauded efforts both large and small to create supply lines for much needed masks and shields.
Among industry leaders, Newsom singled out Apple CEO Tim Cook for his pledge to provide 1 million masks to state health care workers. He said Tesla founder Elon Musk told him, on Saturday, his company would provide 250,000 more much-needed masks to California hospitals.
Newsom said it wasn’t only large companies that were chipping in. An unnamed Santa Rosa manufacturing company wanted to convert its production line to making masks. And seamstresses in the Los Angeles garment district also volunteered to chip in on the effort.
“It’s ennobling,” Newsom said of the effort. “We truly can meet this moment.”
So far, the students said they have produced over 100 of the medical shields and have donated them to local hospitals.
“Our production is ramping up rapidly,” said Ted Chai, who is working as an adviser to the group.
Officials said the need for masks, shields and gowns was great as they expect a surge of coronavirus patients soon. As of Wednesday morning, there have been 1,041 confirmed case and 20 deaths.
Hardest hit has been Santa Clara County, where Monta Vista is located. It has had 375 confirmed cases with 16 deaths.