OTTAWA — An Ottawa mask manufacturer is ramping up production to offer a Canadian choice, benefitting the local economy and helping charities along the way.
It’s a made-in-Canada solution, bound together by necessity. Ottawa-based Viral Clean, which fabricates medical and non-medical masks, is currently producing nearly 40,000 units per day.
CEO Alex Dugal says, in May, they saw demand for masks soar and, instead of buying in bulk from other countries, they saw an opportunity to boost the local economy.
“It’s always nice to have jobs in Canada to begin with. Why buy something that’s not made here if we don’t need to,” says Dugal. “Companies or individuals that need to wear a mask, especially the ones Dr. Tam talked about, the three-ply, they don’t need to buy an international product.”
Health Canada says a mask with a polypropylene fabric layer can help further trap infectious particles. Viral Clean has been producing these from the start.
The fabric outer layer can be customized with different colours and Dugal has enlisted local artists to create different designs.
The company is also providing masks for charities that need them.
Ronald McDonald House in Ottawa receives 615 masks per month.
Andrea Lamontagne, who is the volunteer and family room manager, says this generous donation helps keep families safe and helps saves costs at a critical and very challenging time, adding that the money saved can be used towards providing meals for families.
Dugal says it’s important to continue to give back to the community, especially as their company grows.
And it is growing. Masks are being bought and shipped to every province across the country and, in the coming weeks, a major expansion will be complete. Viral Clean will add the capability to make pediatric masks along with the capacity to produce up to one million masks a day.
Dugal says he wants to give companies and individuals a locally fashioned choice and show that a Canadian product is a top-quality product at a competitive price.
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