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Lowcountry Strong: Company stops normal production to make masks

Updated: Apr. 6, 2020 at 6:40 AM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As the COVID-19 virus keeps many folks working from home or even out of work, some businesses are finding new ways to stay afloat.

LaPorte Products in North Charleston usually makes covers that people use to shade their boats. Now, they are using that same material to make masks.

They usually make and distribute the boat shades out of a resilient fabric that protects against the sun.

Owner Darren LaPorte said he and his staff decided a few weeks ago to see if they could design and create masks out of this material.

"Here at LaPorte's we have a great team, we have a great culture," LaPorte said. "And I mentioned all of our staff, our team, that not only is the Coronavirus a threat, its the economy that's going to tank us if we are not careful. So we wanted to come up with a way that we can protect ourselves as a business and still be able to help society out. So we decided to make masks and I explained to them that this is going to help feed us while we're going through this trial."

They have stopped all of their normal assembly of boat covers and are making up to 1,000 masks a day.

When you order one, you get a HEPA filter to slide into a pouch inside.

Staff at LaPorte's say this filter can block out 95 percent of the particulates in the air.

LaPorte's has partnered with an outside company who sends them these filters.

Starting Monday, the production staff at LaPorte's will be splitting up in smaller groups to work six-hour shifts.

This is in attempt to produce even more masks as well as to keep the staff social distancing.

LaPorte and other staff members say they are not only blessed to still have jobs, but they are also happy to be able to give back to the community while doing so.

You can find out more on what they are doing or order a mask here: https://ttopboatshade.com/.

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