One Million Masks: Industry calls on businesses to provide face masks for medical staff

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— Aftermarket organizations from coast to coast are calling on Canada’s automotive industry to step up and provide support by donating face masks to those on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.

On Tuesday morning the APMA morning launched what it calls the One Million Mask Challenge. It’s asking its members—of which there are close to 300—to donate face masks to local hospitals, clinics and shelters.

The association is asking its members and “the industry at large” to take stock of their supply of masks and respirators and commit it to the challenge by filling out a form online. Companies are then told to “standby for instructions on where to deliver your stock.”

“Masks in storage closets can’t get between the virus and your doctor’s lungs,” said APMA president Flavio Volpe.

General Motors Canada is collecting and donating personal protective equipment to help Canada’s front line health-care workers in the fight against the global novel coronavirus pandemic–and is encouraging those with the facilities to do so to follow in its footsteps. The automaker said late Tuesday that it is asking its suppliers and dealers to donate medical-grade N95 face masks, safety glasses and goggles, gowns and coveralls, gloves and hand sanitizer.

On Monday, FCA said it would manufacturer masks in the Asian market for distribution in the United States and Canada, where there is currently a shortage of personal protective equipment. Ford also plans to build respirators, ventilators and face shields in partnership with its UAW workforce, manufacturing company 3M and GE Healthcare to aid medical workers as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to overwhelm their supply. Volkswagen Group said on Friday it was also joining other manufacturers around the world to explore using 3D printing to make hospital ventilators to combat the coronavirus.

Local businesses from coast to coast are also participating in relief efforts. Joe Logel, the owner of Speedy Collision Guelph, recently donated all of its extra masks to a local hospital⁠—and is encouraging other shops to do the same. 

Click here to learn more and do your part.

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