DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) - A few weeks ago, Douglas Dolter was in the business of rest and relaxation. But now, he and his team are working tirelessly to slow a pandemic.
Dolter owns the Dubuque Mattress Factory. Less than a week ago, he and his staff began making barrier masks from mattress materials. Dolter said he couldn't sit back and not try to help his community.
"We're hearing reports that people have nothing," said Dolter. "So I'm making something. I heard on the news that people were using bandanas and I thought to myself, 'I can do better than a bandana."
The masks are made from pillowcase fabric and hold contain a slot for disposable filters. Dolter said while medical masks are the most effective, because of low stocks, his masks can provide as a back-up.
"These aren't masks that I think nurses should be wearing with COVID patients," said Dolter. "But these are fantastic masks if you need something to help you go out in public and things like that."
Medical masks are currently out of stock in stores and distributors across the country. Leaving older and immunosuppressed individuals at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
Since Saturday, Dolter and his staff have made more than one-thousand masks to donate to anyone in need. And they do not plan on stopping.
"As a business leader, a community leader and a business owner, it's our responsibility," said Dolter. "During normal times, the community is here for us. So now it's our time to be there for them."
Dolter said the demand for his masks is so high they typically run out of made-masks every day. Which is why he is asking other members in the community to volunteer to help is team fill the need.