Factory Workers Making Protective Gear for Healthcare Professionals Head Home After 4 Weeks
Over 40 employees were living at the chemical company's facility in Pennsylvania for the past 28 days
After nearly a month of working non-stop to help make protective equipment for healthcare workers battling the coronavirus pandemic, employees at a Pennsylvania chemical company have finally returned home for a week of relaxation.
Over 40 workers at Braskem America in Delaware County have been living at the facility for the last 28 days, where they have been alternating between two 12-hour shifts a day to create raw materials used in N95 masks, sanitary wipes and hospital gowns, ABC News reported.
“We’ve almost been the lucky ones, I’ll say, for the last 28 days, because I haven’t had to stand six feet from somebody. I haven’t had to put a mask on,” Joe Boyce, operations shift supervisor, told ABC affiliate WPVI.
During their time at the facility, Boyce said the only contact workers had with the outside world was watching their families drive by with signs or watching TV during their time off.
However, seeing their hard work make a difference for those in need made their round-the-clock hours worth it, Boyce said.
“We’re truly honored to be able to give back and support people we will never meet in some way,” he told the outlet.
To recover from their arduous hours, the workers have reportedly been given a week off from their jobs to rest at home.
Braskem America will also be increasing their wages for their tireless work, according to ABC.
Boyce went on to thank those working on the front lines for continuing to keep the country safe.
“First responders, all the people on the front lines, we thank you for what you’ve done,” he added. “That’s what makes our job easy to do.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 780,536 cases and 37,818 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to The New York Times.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.