Weekly Update: How Mainers Are Coping With COVID-19 (4/7)
Supplies delivered by dogsled, more companies making PPE, and a Maine-made COVID-19 test promising results in minutes, not days.
Convenience-store clerk and dogsled racer Hannah Lucas has been mushing 50 to 75 miles per day with her team of huskies to deliver groceries and medical supplies to elderly Aroostook County residents, in order to help those residents avoid taking trips to stores. Lucas pays for the groceries herself.
James Rutter, director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts’ digital-fabrication lab, used the lab’s laser cutter to make 100 face shields for medical staff at Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital, part of a larger effort coordinated by Brooksville resident Jill Day to up the local supply of shields.
The needleworkers at Sea Bags, a company that repurposes old sails as totes, duffels, and pillows, stitched 300 face masks for 75 State Street, a local senior living facility.
The Pussums Cat Company, which normally makes cat toys and other feline accessories, started sewing and selling face masks, donating one for every ten sold to hospitals from New York City to Boston to Portland. The company also started making headbands with buttons above the ears, for hooking elastic mask straps without irritating skin behind the ears.
Abbott Laboratories developed a COVID-19 test that can deliver positive results in 5 minutes and negative results in 13 minutes. The company’s manufacturing plant is now producing 50,000 test kits per day.
The Clarion Hotel donated 50 rooms per night throughout April to doctors and nurses working at the city’s two hospitals, Maine Medical Center and Northern Light Mercy Hospital.
Staff and owners at 10 local inns teamed up to make more than 300 individually wrapped baked goods — muffins, scones, banana bread — for staff at the local hospital, Pen Bay Medical Center.
Have you heard of individuals or organizations doing work to help Mainers that we should highlight here? Let us know.