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Dubuque Mattress store makes 30,000 face masks

Dubuque Mattress store makes 30,000 face masks

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – One month ago, Doug Dolter said he had a goal of making a couple of hundred face masks to help protect his community from COVID-19.

However, the demand for his services quickly exploded. Within weeks, Dolter, owner of the Dubuque Mattress Factory, and his team of staff and volunteers had made 30,000 face masks.

“In the first two-and-a-half weeks, us and the volunteers sewed about 13,000 masks,” said Dolter. “And in the next-week-and-a-half we sewed about 17,000 because everybody pitched in and was trying to do their part.”

Dolter said he originally wanted to focus on donating the masks to area hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. However, when the CDC recommended everyone to wear face masks when going out in public, Dolter said masses of people rushed to get his masks.

“I had to limit it to three-per-person per day,” said Dolter. “And it was a solid line of people for 5 hours waiting to get masks. And then you wake up the next day and you do it again. It was intense.”

Dolter said it would not have been possible for him to fill the community’s need without help from his volunteers.

“You feel an immense amount of stress and anxiety when people are calling you everyday, ‘Hey do you have masks? My mother‘s sick, my father’s sick, I have diabetes, whatever. Can I get a mask,'” said Dolter. “And it’s a really heavy feeling when you’re getting those calls and everyone is scared. All what I was trying to do is take one of those reasons to be scared off their plate.”

Dolter and his team no longer make face masks. He said it is because he cannot order the disposable filters needed to make them.