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An Accomack County teacher and his students create PPE masks using 3D printers

Arcadia High School's engineering and robotics class are making PPE face masks for those in need during the pandemic.

OAK HALL, Va. — Without an established treatment, protecting ourselves from the new coronavirus is especially important. Washing our hands, wearing gloves and now donning face masks are all recommended to keep the spread down. 

Chris Matthews, the engineering and robotics teacher at Arcadia High School in Accomack County, wanted to do something to help. 

He got his students involved and together they started making 3D-printed face masks for a nearby hospital.

"I sent an email to my principal asking for permission to check out the 3D labs, so I could move our printing farm to my house, so we could create these masks," Matthews said. "He thought it was a good idea and we've been printing pretty much 24/7 ever since." 

Now, Matthews has six printers running and he's gotten his students involved virtually.

"Right now we're sending masks to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital," Matthews explained. "We are also supplying the EMS staff of Accomack and Northampton County."

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Arcadia High School's Principal, Shaun O'Shea, even got a call from the superintendent with requests for the masks.

"Our superintendent reached out to us and asked if he could get some masks for our custodians that will be returning to work real soon - as well as our food service workers who, four days a week, are outside providing meals and delivering meals to our family in different locations of our community," O'Shea said.

Matthews and his students have made almost 200 face masks so far.

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