South Australian packaging company Detmold Group manufactured the first respirator masks at its Brompton plant in Adelaide as part of its commitment to deliver millions of respirator and surgical masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Detmold, which is employing up to 160 extra staff to roll out the PPE, has pledged to produce 145 million masks for the South Australian and Federal Governments over the coming months.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the first D95+ respirator masks produced at the company’s Brompton manufacturing plant are now being fit-tested to local health workers – another step in preparing the State for any second wave of COVID-19.
“In just a few weeks, we have seen these high-quality, locally-made masks start production, pass stringent manufacturer testing and have started to be delivered to our hospitals,” the Minister said.
“The masks offer life-saving protection for our nurses and doctors who are on the frontline of our fight against COVID-19, and I’m very pleased that Detmold has collaborated with us to significantly increase our supply.”
Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) Clinical Program Delivery Manager David Naughton said staff are also trained in how to put on and remove the mask safely and perform a ‘fit check’ each time the respirator is worn.
“A correct fitting mask is vital in ensuring our doctors and nurses are protected, so mandatory fit-testing means we significantly reduce the risk of accidental exposure to infectious diseases like coronavirus,” Mr Naughton said.
“CALHN is committed to ensuring our staff has access to all the equipment they need, and this is especially true during the pandemic.”
“When COVID-19 first reached South Australia, our fit testing team geared up from a very small team to a full seven days a week operation, with 3,000 staff across our site refitted to keep them safe.”
Detmold has to date delivered 2,700 D95+ masks to metropolitan hospitals, with country hospitals to receive their first batch later this month.