Coronavirus: Samuelsohn reopens Montreal factory to make surgical gowns

A health care worker talks to a driver at a drive-thru COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 29, 2020, as Coronavirus COVID-19 cases rise in Canada and around the world. Graham Hughes / The Canadian Press

Clothing maker Samuelsohn has reopened its Montreal factory with nearly 150 employees to begin production of personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses and first responders in Quebec.

The luxury menswear company says it has a deal with the province for an initial order of 200,000 surgical gowns and plans to provide hundreds of thousands more.

READ MORE: CAE signs deal with Ottawa to manufacture and supply 10,000 ventilators

It says the disposable gowns are made of medical grade material and it is now exploring production of reusable gowns and has submitted materials for testing and approval.

Samuelsohn had temporarily closed its factory in Montreal as part of an effort to protect its employees and slow the spread of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Canadian companies now manufacturing ventilators, surgical masks

It says new practices for distance and disinfection as well as the use of face masks are being used to protect the staff brought back to make the gowns.

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A shortage of personal protective equipment for those working in hospitals and other medical facilities has been a key issue in the fight against the pandemic.

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