Loudoun County Public Library (LCPL) is assisting front-line health workers and first responders in the county by manufacturing face shields using 3D printers. These face shields will be distributed through the county’s Emergency Operations Center.
LCPL expects to produce 1,000 to 1,200 face shields per week utilizing the Makerspace equipment at its Brambleton, Gum Spring, Rust and Sterling branches. The face shields produced by LCPL will go to a variety of county agencies as well as long-term care facilities that have identified a critical shortage of this type of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We are eager to help,” said LCPL Director Chang Liu. “Loudoun County Public Library’s Makerspace staff and state-of-the-art equipment have been a tremendous resource for our customers and now they will be working full-time producing personal protective equipment for the heroes in our community battling the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Face shields are critically needed and have been a difficult resource to obtain during this pandemic,” said Loudoun County Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “This is a great example of how county departments are working together to use our resources in new ways to meet community needs.”
The library is using 23 3D printers to create the headbands for the face shields while laser cutters are used to cut the plastic shields for the masks. The face shields are being made in accordance with National Institutes of Health guidelines.
When the county’s Emergency Operations Center receives a request for PPE, a team evaluates the appropriateness of the request and matches it against stock on hand. Unfortunately, demand generally outweighs supply. When this is the case, the EOC has a prioritized methodology to distribute scarce resources. “That’s why we are so thankful that LCPL is joining Loudoun County Public Schools and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to increase the available supply by manufacturing face shields for the county,” Goodfriend noted.
In addition to these organizations’ efforts, since late March, the community has donated more than 17,000 pieces of PPE, which has been distributed through the EOC.
For information on how to donate or request PPE, visit loudoun.gov/ppe.
Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email.