Personal Protective Equiment

Updated on Sept. 18 at 2:15 p.m. ET

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there were lots of stories about scrappy manufacturers promising to revamp their factories to start making personal protective equipment in the U.S.

Back in the spring, fuel-cell maker Adaptive Energy retooled part of its factory in Ann Arbor, Mich., to make plastic face shields. Now, 100,000 finished shields are piling up in cardboard boxes on the factory floor — unsold.

Congressional investigators are launching an inquiry into a handful of companies that landed government contracts related to COVID-19, calling the deals "suspicious" because the companies lacked experience and, in some cases, had political connections to the Trump administration.

Mask wearing has become a topic of fierce debate in the United States.

Across the United States, nursing homes trying to protect their residents from the coronavirus eagerly await boxes of masks, eyewear and gowns promised by the federal government. But all too often the packages deliver disappointment — if they arrive at all.

Some contain flimsy surgical masks or cloth face coverings that are explicitly not intended for medical use. Others are missing items or have far less than the full week's worth of protective equipment the government promised to send. Instead of proper medical gowns, many packages hold large blue plastic ponchos.

The state is allowing all non-essential surgeries to resume.  

Updated on April 28 at 10:30 a.m. ET

In the pre-COVID-19 era, Michael Crotty's company, Golden Pacific Fashion and Design, based in Shanghai, sold curtains. But since the global economy ground to a halt, nobody's buying curtains. They're buying masks.

"It's pandemonium at its highest level," says Crotty. "It's the Wild West and it really is a unique situation where these factories that can make these goods are in the driver's seat at the moment."

A Chagrin Falls man will give up thousands of dollars to end a coronavirus-related price gouging case.  


The state has filed a lawsuit against a Cleveland-area man for hoarding personal protective equipment that is sorely needed by health care workers fighting coronavirus.

Alene Candles

A New Albany-based candle maker is producing face shields to donate to the region's health care providers. Alene Candles says it's assembling 40,000 face shields to give to Columbus-area first responders and health care facilities. 

Ohio Governor's Office

Ohio hospitals struggling to find ways to protect health care workers and treat patients got some good news this week.

Columbus based research firm Battelle is hiring over two-thousand people to help decontaminate N 95 masks.  

The Ohio Channel

While states like New York  and California are being swamped by a tsunami of COVID-19 cases, Ohio continues to brace for the surge.  With 102 COVID-19 related deaths and over 3700 postive cases, Governor Mike DeWine warns it is coming.

Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security is accepting donations of personal protective equipment. 

Ohio has received all that it's likely to get from the National Strategic Stockpile of medical supplies - a plane dropped off gowns, gloves, coveralls, face shields, surgical masks and N-95 masks in Columbus Tuesday.

Dublin City Schools have donated N95-masks to OhioHealth.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new system developed by Columbus-based Battelle to sterilize up to 160 thousand surgical masks a day amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Technology developed by Columbus-based Battelle could stretch the nation's supply of critical personal protective equipment, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to build momentum.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic online crafting sites and social media have been flooded with patterns and pictures for homemade masks, but are they actually useful?