Masks Photo

WEMA Director Joey Cooper accepts a donation of 50,000 N95 respirator masks from Moldex-Metric at its Lebanon facility on Thursday.

WEMA has been on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 since March, and the agency received a donation of 50,000 N95 respirator masks from Moldex-Metric on Thursday as the virus continues to spread.

The masks are going to be distributed across the county to help protect workers in frequent contact with the public and were donated in partnership with Celanese Corporation.

“We’re all facing unprecedented and trying times during the COVID-19 pandemic,” WEMA Director Joey Cooper said. “WEMA is very honored to accept this generous and much-needed donation of the N95 respirators. They will be utilized in protecting first responders and frontline workers throughout this COVID crisis.”

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said the masks could play an important role in reducing local case counts.

“Fifty thousand seems like a large number, but when you start thinking and put over 140,000 people that live in the county it gets a dent there,” he said. “But it’s a good dent, and so we appreciate that.”

Moldex-Metric plans for its Lebanon facility to begin operations in early 2021, which means additional masks will become available. The company expects to create roughly 220 jobs in the community over the next three years.

“The hiring process has already started and will continue through next year,” plant manager Bryan Harralson said. “We will start producing N95 respirators and hopefully expand our product line as things develop.”

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