Colusa County Public Health is set to receive 1,000 free reusable face shields for local use thanks to a regional collaboration between four area public health departments, as well as California State University, Chico and the Chico based digital fabrication facility Idea Fab Labs, according to a release issued by the Colusa County Health Department. 

“This regional collaboration really showcases the extraordinary talent and level of innovation right here in our own backyard,” said Elizabeth Kelly, director of Colusa County Health and Human Services. “The healthcare industry had a need, the local community stepped up to find a solution and community partners stepped in to provide the needed funding. This is the type of partnership that makes our region special.”

The collaboration will produce and distribute 20,000 face shields in the next four to eight weeks in Colusa, Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties, according to the release.

“Upon arrival, Colusa County Public Health will coordinate distribution of the face shields to Colusa Medical Center, doctor’s offices, dental offices and more,” read the release. 

According to the release, this effort is being funded by the North Valley Community Foundation and Feather River Health Foundation, and was developed by a team of CSU, Chico professionals who created an adjustable plastic visor in consultation with Enloe Medical Center. CSU, Chico students then began producing these visors from home using 3-D printers. 

“It was incredible to watch this come together,” said David Little, executive vice president of NVCF. “Everybody recognized a need for personal protective equipment for all healthcare workers, from doctors in emergency rooms to hygienists in dental offices. Then everyone worked together to figure out how to make it happen.”  

Using an injection molding machine in the CSU, Chico engineering lab the university started making about 600 shields per day, with the potential to double production, read the release. 

Colusa County’s first face shield delivery is expected to arrive this week. 

For more information, contact Ted Mamoulelis at 458-0380.

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