Coronavirus: Catholic secondary schools in Cobourg, Bowmanville, Ont. making face shields

St. Mary Catholic Secondary School technology teacher Joel Kightley works on a laser cutter to produce pieces of a protective face shield to be distribute to front-line workers in the coronavirus pandemic. PVNC District School Board

Two Catholic secondary schools in central Ontario are helping to manufacture face shields for front-line workers in the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland, Clarington District School Board, a collaboration between St. Mary Catholic School in Cobourg and St. Stephen Catholic Secondary in Bowmanville aims to produce up to 500 face shields to distribute to area hospitals and long-term care homes for staff.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Peterborough-area school boards lending devices for distance learning

The board says both schools have “vibrant” manufacturing classrooms and are putting their laser cutting technology to use to produce the face shields. The first batch was completed this week and distributed to staff at Extendicare long-term care in Cobourg.

The project hopes to support local hospitals, including Northumberland Hills Hospital and Peterborough Regional Health Centre, as well as long-term care homes in the Peterborough and Northumberland area.

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“Our school communities are very proud of the efforts our technological studies staff have made to support our greater community,” said St. Mary CSS principal James Brake. “They heard the call and worked on a plan to meet it.”

The project is currently moving to Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough to reduce travel time for those working on the equipment. School staff have been meeting via video conference and have been maintaining physical distancing at all times, the board states.

“It is amazing to see the technology we put into the hands of students be used in such a way,” said Brake. “As Catholic educators, it is also extremely rewarding to be able to act out the Gospel message in treating others as we would be treated ourselves.”

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