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Pekin company changes course to fight COVID-19

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PAL HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

At Pal Health Technology and Reditus Laboratories they used to focus on foot care.

Now they find themselves joining the fight against COVID-19.

Business is not as usual here at the Pekin Company.

These workers are making face shields to ease the burden of personal protective equipment shortages.

"We had a pretty big reach across the country with several different offices all over the place. The need for face shields was something we could meet right away," said CEO, Dr. Aaron Rossi.

Dr. Rossi said the transition from foot care to masks wasn't easy but he's glad his company is able to do it.

"It's not easy to do anything. Making a face shield may seem easy but you have to source your material. We're not the only ones making face shields. Getting plastic companies to commit volume to you is hard," said Dr. Rossi.

He's had plenty of orders and sent out over half a million already.

Some of these face masks have already gone to Pekin City workers.

"We certainly wanted to help our community and wanted to put this in a position where we could reach it out as far as we could," said Mayor Mark Luft.

Not only are they making P.P.E., the laboratory is able to use their equipment to run COVID-19 test samples from around the Midwest.

"The testing we perform is a PCR amplification that's monitored by florescent light. We monitor an exponential curve and the increase of light to identify positive test," said Fredrick Oakley, who is a board certified Molecular Pathologist working in the lab.

Right now, the lab is doing 96 tests per cycle with each cycle taking about four to six hours.

Dr. Rossi said the more labs that are able to test and move through the backlog, the shorter the wait is for patients to get results.

Now that Dr. Rossi has seen what his lab can do, he said it could bring more opportunities to Pekin in the future.

Alex Menke

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