The pandemic has increased the demand for facial masks to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. UPM Blandin received 10,000 facial masks through the UPM Biofore Share and Care global project and distributed them locally this week.
Blandin supplied 6,000 Type 1 facial masks to Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital and 4,000 to Essentia Health. “We are pleased to be able to provide facial masks during this critical time to help stop the further spread of Covid19 in our local community,” says Scott Juidici, UPM Blandin General Manager. “The health and safety of our employees, their families and the community where we operate has always been our top priority. We were also able to donate critical PPE equipment including N95 respirators and Tyvek suits earlier in March from our mill to Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital.”
RN, Essentia Health Clinics Director, Nancy Buescher says, “This is greatly appreciated as we are seeing more patients at our healthcare facilities in Grand Rapids and Deer River. There is still a shortage of critical PPE and these masks will be used by our staff who are required to wear Type 1 masks. We are committed to providing our staff and patients with the highest level of protection against Covid19.”
UPM distributes 500,000 facial masks through the Biofore Share and Care program
This spring UPM was actively sourcing masks for the use of its employees’ and contractors’ and also provided its sourcing expertise. The company has offered each production site 10,000 masks to distribute to a local cause. In total, 500,000 masks are available for this purpose during this summer and autumn. The masks meet the requirements set for EN standard Type 1 products.
According to Paul Kampa, Patient Experience Coordinator at Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital, this donation is timely for their facility. “As we start seeing more patients in the clinic, and performing more procedures, we are going through more masks. While we have been able to obtain masks, due to high demand, it is getting more difficult to get them from suppliers. This donation will not only help protect our patients, but also our staff as we seek to stop the spread of Covid19 in our community.”
UPM is involved in many causes and community projects supporting sustainable development and the prosperity and welfare of the communities where we operate. The activities are coordinated through the Biofore Share and Care Program. During the Covid-19 pandemic the program has provided community support through sponsorships, donations, in-kind contributions and pro bono voluntary work.