KITCHENER -- Companies in Waterloo Region are ramping up production to assist with the shortage of medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prescientx, a medial startup company based in Cambridge, is designing a machine that utilizes UV light to disinfect used N95 masks.

It’s hoped that the machine can help hospitals who are dealing with a lack of personal protect equipment (PPE).

“The best thing to do is to try and figure out how to reuse safely the ones that we've got,” says company president Barry Hunt. “The goal is to be able to reuse a mask ten times so we can get ten times more masks out to frontline workers.”

It’s hoped the machine will be able to clean around 500 masks an hour.

Hunt says his company has already received dozens of orders from hospitals across North America.

“They should keep all the masks that they have right now and bag them,” he says. “Save them to send down to their central processing departments so they have masks to run through as soon as the machines are available.”

Masks aren’t the only items needed by health professionals.

A Kitchener company is ramping up production on its foam hospital mattresses.

“They’re asking us to make as many as we can, as quickly as we can,” says Bob Germann, the president of Custom Foam Production. “We have one request from one of our American customers to make up to 100,000 additional mattresses.”

Prescientx, meanwhile, says their goal is 1,000 disinfection machines.

The company is also looking to hire workers to help with thier assembly.