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The Husco-led consortium MaskForce has designed, developed and produced a reusable face mask that can be used by the frontline healthcare professionals to help prevent the spread of infection or illness amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The face masks can also be sanitised and they received temporary authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an emergency use authorisation.

The masks are made of medical-grade silicone and polypropylene and provide a low-pressure facial seal.

The initial production run of 30,000 face masks is underway at Husco’s headquarters in Waukesha, US. Earlier this week, the company sent the first shipment of masks to Milwaukee-area first responders.

The consortium plans to scale up production to more than 10,000 masks a day to help meet national demand.

Husco CEO Austin Ramirez said: “Among our core values is practical innovation, which drives us to consistently and creatively push the boundary of what is possible to create immediate value.

“MaskForce is both an example of American manufacturing ingenuity and the good that can be accomplished when multiple stakeholders collaborate to serve the community. I am grateful to all the MaskForce collaborators for their time, expertise and goodwill.”

The MaskForce consortium was formed by over 50 professionals representing local manufacturers, first responders, educational institutions and healthcare organisations.

Before finalising the production design in just four weeks, the team tested numerous suitable materials and collaborated with multiple university labs, medical professionals and first responders.

In addition to expanding production of the current model, the MaskForce is developing a smaller form-factor mask.

The Husco-led consortium is also actively pursuing NIOSH N95 certification for the mask.