Coronavirus News: Long Island doctor, neighbor work together to create face shields for state

CENTRAL ISLIP, Suffolk County (WABC) -- There are real and legitimate concerns about protecting health care workers who are treating patients with the novel coronavirus.

As one Long Island doctor knows firsthand, necessity is the mother of invention.

They're not munitions, but face shields on this assembly line that can protect against the enemy virus COVID-19.

"It protects the mucosal membranes, eyes, and mouth from being splashed at," said Dr. Bettina Fries, Infectious Diseases, Stony Brook University Hospital.

Dr. Fries knew supplies of protective gear were running low.

But she had a hunch that her neighbor, an industrial engineer with an expertise in plastic, could help.

"I texted him asked him, 'Aggie can you make a face shield for us?' He looked at it, I sent him a picture, and he said, 'Yeah, yeah we can do that,'" Dr. Fries said.

A day later, Aggie libohova had a prototype, and his boss was on board to manufacture them.

"We learned this was just such a shortfall not just at Stony Brook, not just Long Island, not just New York but nationally and worldwide," said Danny Iax, Clear Vu.

Clear Vu makes LED lighting for the subway system, but he knew he could and had to scale.

Production in Central Islip started a week ago.

They're making 2,000 shields a day. By the end of the month, they'll be at 100,000 a day. And the state of New York ordered 1 million.

"The only thing that is going to get you out of this pandemic is innovation and science and dedication compassion empathy and hard work," Iax said.

And a little neighborly collaboration to boot.

"The idea that we in Suffolk County can help everyone in New York, it's exciting," Iax said.

Exciting and lifesaving.

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