Annie Murphy (front) sews a neck guard. She is a seamster by trade and it was sewing that put her through university. Murphy is another co-owner of Shade Sails Canada. (Submitted)

Annie Murphy (front) sews a neck guard. She is a seamster by trade and it was sewing that put her through university. Murphy is another co-owner of Shade Sails Canada. (Submitted)

Revelstoke company sews neck guards for health care workers

Physicians say there is a desperate need for more personal protective equipment

A Revelstoke business is making protective supplies for healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19.

But the company is limited to respond because of equipment shortfalls and a limit on providing healthcare safety gear outside of the Revelstoke area.

Shade Sails Canada is currently sewing neck guards for Revelstoke medical staff.

While physicians have mouth masks, goggles, face shields and gowns, their necks can still be exposed, potentially allowing the virus to attach to their skin.

A local physicians tries on a neck guard. So far, Shade Sails have sewed 60, with another 90 on the way. (Submitted)

Brydon Roe, Shade Sails co-owner, said local physicians reached out to the company, asking if they could develop something to help.

“And we jumped right on it,” he said.

READ MORE: Revelstoke distillery halts production to make free disinfectant

READ MORE: COVID-19: Revelstoke 3D printing face shields for local hospital

The Canadian Medical Association said earlier this month that “urgent action” is needed to address a “lack of supply” of vital protective gear for health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

According to a news release from the organization, one-third of physicians in community care (offices and walk-in clinics) said they expect to run out of masks, eye/face shields and goggles within days. And some have already run empty.

In an email, Interior Health stated it doesn’t have specific information concerning personal protective equipment at each clinic or hospital within the region, however, it noted there are processes in place to ensure the protective equipment and supplies are distributed appropriately across the region.

Black Press has reached out for comment to the Revelstoke hospital regarding personal protective equipment supply levels.

In some places, such as in the U.K., one of the worst hit places by COVID-19, nurses have resorted to using garbage bags for personal protective equipment. On Easter Sunday, the country passed 10,000 deaths.

Shade Sails Canada, based in Revelstoke, is one of the only ones in Canada that makes shade sails.

A shade sail is a device that creates outdoor shade based on the design of a ship’s sail. The company was even on CTV’s Dragon’s Den last fall.

While the company is still making shade sails, Roe said demand has dropped and the company had to lay off staff.

However, Shade Sails has been asked to make multiple items in the wake of the pandemic, such as fabric dividers at hospitals and even body bags, but the company lacks the equipment necessary to make those items.

Roe said the company has donated 60 neck guards to the local hospital and is working on another 90, which a local anonymous sponsor is helping to pay for.

The neck guards are made from material similar to hospital gowns.

Shade Sails Canada has approached the federal government to help fund the shields and approval to export outside of Revelstoke, Roe citing that his company is getting requests from doctors across the country.

“There’s a serious need for them,” he said.

The prime minister announced earlier this month the federal government will spend $2 billion on additional medical supplies to meet the urgent demand.

READ MORE: Health Canada approves portable COVID-19 test that can provide results within an hour

It’s possible, said Roe, the neck guards could be a product that lasts beyond COVID-19 and becomes a regular addition to healthcare workers’ personal protective equipment.

As-of-April 13, there have been 734 deaths from COVID-19 in Canada


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A local physician tries on a neck guard. So far, Shade Sails have sewed 60, with another 90 on the way. (Contributed)

A local physician tries on a neck guard. So far, Shade Sails have sewed 60, with another 90 on the way. (Contributed)

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services responded to a fire at the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation site Feb. 11, 2021. It was the fourth fire at the facility since it was built in 2005. (Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services photo)
Future uncertain for City of Revelstoke owned company

RCEC is using a backup system to provide heating after a fire forced the facility offline

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

Memorials have been set up to honour those who died during the Second World War. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: It’s time to stop making comparisons to Hitler

The deadliest, most destructive war in human history should not become a metaphor

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
Accessibility concerns raised as Kelowna ponders banning vehicles from Knox Mountain

Knox Mountain Drive, which leads to two lookouts, has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic began

(Pixabay photo)
Cow-based wildfire mitigation pilot contended by Southeast Kelowna group

‘Targeted grazing’ program would see 50 cows deployed to 60-hectare parcel above Field Road

Most Read