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Trudeau uses Waterloo company as example for retooling to equip hospitals
KITCHENER -- A Waterloo Region company is stepping up to the plate to help produce necessary medical equipment to help fight COVID-19.
At his Tuesday COVID-19 news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the story of a local start-up showing what it means to be Canadian in these challenging times.
"A few weeks ago, Dave Caputo, the owner of a start-up, Trusscore, in the Waterloo Region, called a meeting with his employees," Trudeau began.
"With mounting concerns around COVID-19, Dave asked his team how they could repurpose their building materials factory to make products hospitals needed."
Days later, Trudeau says, they had four prototypes.
Ultimately the company decided to make panels for hospitals that they could use to divide rooms and isolate people with COVID-19.
"On Monday, panels made of fully-recycled materials were delivered at no cost to several hospitals in the region, including Grand River, St. Mary's and Guelph General Hospital," Trudeau says.
The company's website says the modular walls are coated with Microban Aegis Microbe Shield, a treatment that bonds to wall.
At Tuesday's press conference, Trudeau announced $2 billion in funding to procure more diagnostic testing, ventilators, and personal protective equipment for front-line workers.
Some of those products are expected to be ready in as little as a few days.
The prime minister pointed to other examples of companies stepping up to the plate, from alcohol producers making hand sanitizer to manufacturers retooling to make face shields and ventilators.
In Stratford, for example, Junction 56 has begun making sanitizer in vast quantities for healthcare providers.
Kitchener-based InkSmith has also started using 3-D printers to make face shields. It has started producing so many that it put out a call to hire 100 people to help keep up with production.
Trudeau says the federal government has spoken directly to more than 3,000 companies who have offered their services.