North Iowa company helping make masks

To help nurses and healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic, Metalcraft will be producing shields. And they're already receiving plenty of requests.

Posted: Mar 28, 2020 3:24 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - As nurses and healthcare workers are working around the clock during the coronavirus pandemic, masks and other personal protective equipment is becoming increasingly hard to find. Now, a North Iowa company is stepping up and changing that.

Typically, Metalcraft produces labels, barcodes and tags for tracking. The company is now shifting its focus, making shields. 

"Kyle [Bermel] emailed me the design for the headband. And he said, 'can we get a prototype today?'"

Tyler Bartholomew is a technician. He's hard at work improving the ability to crank out headbands and shields.

"To be able to help like this and be able to provide something that's really hard to find, where we can actually make them, is really cool."

COO Kyle Bermel knows it's crucial to help those on the frontlines fighting COVID-19, but also to keep Metalcraft workers on the job.

"I was going down the respirator route because we're a materials company as well, and he was like, 'why don't we look at shields?'"

A 3-D printer and a presser are making it all possible.

"We have a 3-D printer that can do about 10 halo portions of that shield a day. We're looking at giving those away and donating those."

The company has already been receiving requests from hospitals and individual emergency workers who are on the frontlines battling this crisis, including the staff at MercyOne.

"We're working with the state on a large project that would help multiple hospitals. that's the real big one, the high volume job we have going. We're looking at partnering with other companies in Iowa to get those assembled and put together."

As someone who has family in the medical field, Bermel says being able to give back is near and dear to his heart.

"The whole Metalcraft family is thinking of them. We appreciate all that the frontline people are doing."

Employees will begin producing the shields next week.

Also, hockey manufacturing company Bauer is switching from making helmets and skates, to shields for doctors, nurses and first responders.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 537828

Reported Deaths: 7010
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1120831667
Ramsey46402845
Dakota40949413
Anoka37022412
Washington24118273
Stearns20436213
St. Louis16304294
Scott15379115
Wright14242124
Olmsted1254095
Sherburne1011078
Carver938642
Clay763489
Rice7373100
Blue Earth674440
Kandiyohi617079
Crow Wing586986
Chisago533848
Otter Tail529373
Benton515896
Mower445032
Winona434149
Douglas430270
Goodhue428271
Nobles395747
Morrison380358
McLeod378354
Beltrami364257
Polk358566
Isanti356859
Itasca356051
Steele344614
Becker341548
Lyon341048
Carlton321052
Freeborn318529
Pine304621
Nicollet297342
Brown288439
Mille Lacs268147
Todd264030
Le Sueur263722
Cass240326
Meeker226037
Waseca225320
Martin208429
Wabasha19793
Roseau192418
Dodge16774
Hubbard166841
Renville166743
Redwood162735
Houston161814
Cottonwood151320
Fillmore15009
Pennington148419
Chippewa143436
Faribault141019
Wadena139120
Sibley131210
Aitkin125836
Watonwan12419
Kanabec124021
Rock120618
Jackson112310
Yellow Medicine108018
Pipestone106925
Murray10119
Pope9816
Swift96918
Marshall83417
Stevens78910
Lake77719
Wilkin75212
Clearwater75014
Koochiching73611
Lac qui Parle72922
Big Stone5544
Lincoln5502
Grant5378
Norman5109
Mahnomen4888
Unassigned48278
Kittson43622
Red Lake3796
Traverse3585
Lake of the Woods2912
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 354126

Reported Deaths: 5789
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55359596
Linn20099328
Scott18614234
Black Hawk15431306
Woodbury14733219
Johnson1379980
Dubuque12985202
Dallas1080196
Pottawattamie10574158
Story1021947
Warren546586
Clinton529789
Cerro Gordo517586
Webster506091
Sioux502173
Marshall476074
Muscatine452996
Des Moines438064
Wapello4237120
Buena Vista420740
Jasper406070
Plymouth393379
Lee366355
Marion353475
Jones291655
Henry285337
Bremer278060
Carroll277550
Crawford261539
Boone255731
Benton248755
Washington247849
Dickinson237443
Mahaska222449
Jackson216842
Kossuth211161
Clay207525
Tama206170
Delaware200239
Winneshiek191833
Page188720
Buchanan186631
Fayette182541
Cedar182223
Wright178335
Hardin178142
Hamilton176649
Harrison174473
Clayton165255
Butler161834
Mills156920
Cherokee156238
Floyd154242
Lyon153141
Poweshiek152033
Madison151719
Allamakee148951
Iowa144624
Hancock142234
Winnebago135131
Grundy134632
Cass133654
Calhoun133011
Jefferson130435
Emmet127040
Shelby126237
Appanoose125947
Louisa125848
Sac125619
Mitchell125241
Union123732
Chickasaw121815
Humboldt117826
Guthrie116528
Franklin112321
Palo Alto109322
Howard102522
Unassigned10010
Montgomery99437
Clarke97923
Keokuk94230
Monroe92728
Ida88233
Adair83932
Pocahontas83021
Monona80430
Davis79824
Greene76210
Lucas74822
Osceola73316
Worth6958
Taylor64812
Fremont60310
Decatur5889
Van Buren55318
Ringgold53322
Wayne51723
Audubon4909
Adams3264
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