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Calgary company to make medical masks for Albertans

Job creation and millions of locally-produced masks are good news for Calgary company and AHS. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

A Calgary-based company will create up to 100 jobs and provide more than 40 million locally made medical masks to Alberta Health Services (AHS).

The $60-million two-year agreement between AHS and Orpyx Medical Technologies comes after Orpyx responded to Alberta’s Bits and Pieces program, which sought local organizations and companies to develop and provide goods and services to support the province’s response to the pandemic. The company began manufacturing masks in August and delivered its first supply to AHS in September.

“What started as an initiative to collect PPE donations to support Calgary health-care facilities quickly led to discussions among Calgary business leaders on local manufacturing capabilities. Through our collaborations, we are now producing three-ply procedural face masks with plenty of room to expand," said Dr. Breanne Everett, Orpyx CEO.

An independent testing lab reviewed the supply of masks to ensure they meet international clinical standards. The review process also involved front-line health-care workers through the AHS Quality Assurance Group.

“Knowing that our front-line workers will use a reliable and safe source of PPE whose production created new jobs for Albertans is a win-win for everyone," said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.

Prior to COVID-19, AHS used about 33,000 masks per day. They now use an average of 600,000 masks a day.