Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland has awarded an additional $1.6 million in a second round of grants to 25 Maryland companies for pivoting to or expanding production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They include CoverLoft and The Eclipse Group, of Anne Arundel County and EventEq and Hatch Exhibits, of Howard County.

Through the Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce, companies are receiving grants of up to $100,000 to manufacture critically needed items, including face shields, gowns, and N95 mask parts. The first round of grants, awarded in May, went to 20 Maryland companies and also totaled $1.6 million.

The $5 million program was created in response to a growing demand for items to protect health care and front line workers, including face shields, surgical masks, gowns and gloves, as well as items for hospitals, like thermometers, respirators, and ventilators. The program received more than 200 applications.

“We were alarmed with the shortage of domestic manufacturers for critical PPEs, such as face masks. In response to the current pandemic, we have been offering a wide range of mask testing services,” said Dr. Mina Izadjoo, president and chief science officer of Integrated Pharma Services. “This funding will bring us one step closer to self-sufficiency in making masks and better positions the country, particularly Maryland, in the fight against this pandemic.”