Two Iowa manufacturers have teamed up to develop a face shield for front-line health care workers, and began shipping out the products this week. 

The Dimensional Group in Mason City, in conjunction with Angstrom Precision Molding Inc. in Ottumwa, began collaborating on the project just a week ago with the assistance of Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service.

The project is a direct response to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ public request last week for more than 500,000 face shields for the state’s emergency stockpile, said Adam Gold, president of the Dimensional Group. The companies expect to be able to deliver that many units to the state over the next 30 days. 

“Our goal with this project was to bring a quality PPE product to the market as quickly as possible to aid our front-line health workers,” he said. 

The companies expect to be able to produce 50,000 face shields per week initially, and to ramp up production to more than 100,000 face shields per week within the next two weeks. 

The face shields are being sold for $1.25 each, with kits including 500 shields and halos bands for hospitals priced at $625. 

“I think it’s very safe to say these are being produced at cost for hospitals and the state,” Gold said. “We are trying to ensure that these aren’t being bought and then being resold at a big markup.”  

The goal for the units was to give doctors and nurses the ability to quickly remove the shield from the halo while they move from room to room seeing patients. Each halo has four notches on the front while the shield has four holes, into which the notches will fit snugly, allowing for both quick assembly and removal of the shield.

“We actually made our first deliveries Wednesday,” Gold said. “The state of Iowa received a shipment yesterday. We’re filling all the hospital orders today; that will take care of all the direct requests we’ve gotten. Then beginning on Tuesday, all deliveries will go to the state of Iowa for the stockpile.” The companies may begin supplying out-of-state orders once their commitment to the state is fulfilled, he said.

For more information on face shield kits, including pictures, how to assemble, and an order form, go to www.dimensionalgroup.com/covid-19-face-shield-kits/. Orders can also be made by calling 641-423-8931 or by email.