Michigan Coronavirus: Stormy Kromer helps make masks, gowns for hospitals

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IRONWOOD, Mich. (WJMN) – Just last week, workers at Stormy Kromer were crafting its classic caps, coats, and other Stormy Kromer products. Now they are helping make masks and gowns for hospitals.

With limited healthcare supplies right now amid the COVID-19 pandemic, things like face masks and hospital gowns are in crucial need in the state and across the nation. Many people in the Upper Peninsula community are coming together to do what they can for those on the frontline during this crisis.

Picture of worker sewing hospital gowns.

Last week, Stormy Kromer received its first call from a local hospital asking if they could produce masks and hospital gowns. Over the weekend, the calls continued to pour in from hospitals asking for help. This lead to a Sunday meeting where sewing engineers, production and purchasing managers came up with a mask sample that they would use. This was in accordance with one of the hospital’s specifications.

On March 25, Stormy Kromer workers began production on the masks. Gina Thorsen, president of Stormy Kromer, notes that these face masks are not N95 masks. However, they use a coated exterior fabric with a cotton lining for protection.

Picture of masks in the process of being made.

“To be a part of something positive makes us feel fantastic,” said Thorsen. “It makes me feel particularly proud of our employees and how they rose to the challenge and figured how to do this so quickly and are there in the factory with a smile on their face today wanting to get this done for those folks who are in harm’s way. Being amidst a really tough time, it’s something to feel good about.”

The company already has 25,000 orders. Several U.P. and Wisconsin hospitals, police departments, and nursing homes have inquired with the company for help.

Workers are aiming to create 2,000 masks per day.

Alongside the masks and gowns, hospital booties and other products are being worked on.

For more information on these products, you can contact Stormy Kromer at info@jacquarts.com.

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