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John Deere donates face shields to Dubuque hospital

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) - Friday, John Deere Dubuque Works delivered the first of several shipments of face shields for healthcare workers.

Currently, personal protection equipment is at a critical low for medical personnel across the country. Which is why Mark Dickson, General Manager of John Deere Dubuque Works, said his team couldn't sit back without trying to help.

"The employees are really excited that we're doing this," said Dickson. "They really wanted to do this. And the opportunity to do that along with the senior leadership's support and the UAW International's engagement and support to do this has just been awesome."

The factory is making face shields to donate to area hospitals. Today's delivery included 600 shields, and Dickson said they plan to make thousands more.

Chad Wolbers, President of Unit Point Health Finley Hospital, said the shields provide a much-needed barrier for medical staff when working with patients who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

"The face shields provide protection over the face from any sort of aerosols that might be put into the air during a procedure of any sort," said Wolbers. "So it protects the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the airways. It's critical in caring for our patients and specifically the COVID-19 patients we're seeing."

Dickson said the decision to make the face shields was a no-brainer. He said it is the least his team could do to help those putting their lives on the line.

"But at the end of the day, it's really about the health care workers," said Dickson. "Because they are the ones down on the front lines and we've just got to support them. And we're fortunate to be in a position to be able to do that."

Dickson said they will also donate the face shields to MercyOne Hospital in Dubuque.