Furniture and bedding companies and their suppliers have come together to request the authority to manufacture medical masks needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak has created a worldwide shortage of medical masks to protect health care providers and first responders. Tim Dolan of High Point, NC-based TDI Worldwide, who is spearheading the industry effort, maintained that the concern of participants in the joint initiative is that efforts to expand mask production won’t be sufficient to address the need.
“Our concern is that these masks might not be made and distributed fast enough to get to the front line groups and individuals who need them most– our first responders and caregivers– and we want to help accelerate the production if possible, because our industry might have the capabilities to do it,” he said.
Dolan noted that the furnishings manufacturers and individuals that have expressed interest in helping include Ashley Furniture Industries, Corinthian, Best Home Furnishings, Pride Mobility Products Corp., Serta Simmons Bedding, A. Lava & Son Co., Dennis C. Valkanoff, Design Concepts, May Furniture, Traverse Bay Manufacturing, Jomel Seams Reasonable, Customatic Technologies, Southern Motion, Creative Ticking and Fusion Furniture as well as TDI Worldwide.
The effort has thus far received support and guidance from North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis and other legislators who are providing help in navigating the process of gaining manufacturing approval from the United States Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration.