Healthcare workers at dozens of Veterans Affairs facilities across the country have been provided protective face shields made by a John Deere plant in the Quad Cities.
In April, the seeding factory in Moline switched from making farm equipment to PPE.
Project leader David Ottavianelli told IPR’s Pat Blank on All Things Considered Monday that more than 400,000 shields were produced and quarter of them (134,000) were sent to those who care for veterans.
Ottavianelli said although production on the face shields has wrapped up, they can easily switch back if COVID 19 begins to surge again.
“We’ve learned a lot in this conversion so we actually have the facilities that if needed could be converted back over to produce this, plus we also understand those supply chains so we’ll be able to get that material quickly," he said.
Ottavianelli said shields that were not distributed have been sent to Homeland Security facilities in Iowa and Illinois to be part of their inventory.