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NH company to ramp up production of protective mask materials

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 10:15 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2020 at 11:48 AM EDT
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ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - A company that produces material used in protective respirator masks is planning to ramp up production in New Hampshire during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lydall, Inc., is expanding to house two new production lines in Rochester that will produce the part of N95 and surgical masks that traps bacteria, viruses, dust and other particles. A groundbreaking ceremony was scheduled Friday.

The new lines are supported by a $13.5 million federal contract the company secured with departments of Defense and Health and Human Services, and funding provided through the federal CARES Act.

Once completed by May 2021, the company says this will be the largest U.S. site for what it refers to as meltblown filtration media production. It says it will produce enough of the material for 1.7 billion N95 respirators or 6.5 billion surgical masks per year.

Lydall is headquartered in Manchester, Connecticut.

THE NUMBERS

As of Thursday, 6,318 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 25 cases. Three new deaths were announced, for a total of 405.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause more severe illness and can lead to death.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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