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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An Upstate company is pivoting to produce personal protective equipment to be used by healthcare professionals in the fight against COVID-19.

Milliken announced Thursday they are now producing medical fabrics and barriers using their BioSmartTM antimicrobial technology, which will be used in scrubs, lab coats, and hospital privacy curtains. Additionally, the textiles company is developing material to use in N-95 grade masks. The company says these products complement the products they already make for temporary shelters used for transitory field hospitals, and will adapt well to the fight against the outbreak.

“We have focused our development and manufacturing processes to help fight the battle against COVID-19,” said Halsey M. Cook, Milliken & Company president and CEO. “We began by engineering our existing textiles into medical-grade fabrics for PPE, and we will continue to seek critical solutions as we navigate this uncharted territory as a company, a nation and a world.”

The new textile materials, used in medical gowns, are classified into three levels. Level 1 textiles are best suited for minimal risk scenarios, like basic care settings and standard medical units. Level 2 is reserved for low-risk situations, like suturing and in pathology labs. Level 3 gowns are for moderate-risk scenarios, like emergency rooms and trauma care.

“Our team of scientists and developers is fully engaged, uncovering solutions to address critical medical and protective needs for those fighting on the front lines of this pandemic,” stated Chad McAllister, president and EVP, Textile Division.

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