A Calgary company has been tapped by the province to manufacture more than 40 million medical masks for Alberta Health Services.
The $60-million contract will see Orpyx Medical Technologies produce the masks over two years under the auspices of the province’s Bits and Pieces program, which sought local organizations and companies that could provide goods and services to support Alberta’s response to the pandemic.
“This is a great example of the way businesses have stepped up to help get us through the pandemic, and the importance of health care as an economic driver,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro.
“Sourcing masks from Orpyx, an established Calgary-based company, helps us continue protecting health-care workers and the public from COVID-19.”
Since the pandemic struck, daily mask use by AHS has skyrocketed from about 33,000 per day to an average of 600,000 per day.
“This contract allows us to ensure a long-term, continued local source of personal protective equipment,” said AHS president and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu.
“Ensuring appropriate PPE continues to be provided to our staff, physicians, patients and guests at our health-care sites is critical for the safety of Albertans.”
The company started manufacturing masks in August and delivered its first batch to AHS in September, the province says.
An independent lab has reviewed the masks to ensure they meet international clinical standards.
The masks from Orpyx will supplement the supply sourced from other vendors, the province says.