OCEANSIDE — While many local businesses have closed due to the COVID-19 quarantine, others are staying in operation to provide products that are either helping people to stay safe during the pandemic or are helping people to recover from the disease.
One of those businesses is PRYOR Products, a company based in Oceanside that makes IV and ventilator mobility stands. The company has continued making ventilator mobility stands for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under direction from the White House.
According to Purchasing Manager Bob Chuzas, PRYOR Products sells its stands to the companies that make ventilators. Many patients who have COVID-19, particularly the more extreme cases, rely on these ventilators to help them breathe.
“Those ventilators can’t go anywhere without one of our ventilator mobility stands,” Chuzas said.
The stands are somewhat famous, too. In most television or movie hospital scenes, a PRYOR Product IV or ventilator mobility stand can typically be found, Chuzas said.
Right now, the stands are in high demand. Chuzas said the average order is between 1,000 to 2,500 ventilator stands, but recently PRYOR Products has started working with General Motors who asked for 200,000 stands.
General Motors even bought a license that would allow the company to make the stands in its Indiana plant.
By staying open to make ventilator mobility stands, PRYOR Products has been able to keep its 500 employees working as well as much of its supply chain of vendors within 100 miles of Oceanside.
Another business in Oceanside that is staying afloat making products for the quarantine is Rais Case, a women’s handbag business that has started making masks.
According to Julie Ellis, owner and founder of Rais Case, the business does all of its cutting and sewing here in San Diego County.
“In the past few weeks we have created our own pattern for masks,” Ellis said.
On its website, Rais Case is selling finished masks, a mask kit with enough material for five masks for customers to make at home, and also offers a free, downloadable mask pattern for people to use to make their own masks at home.
For every mask purchased, the business is donating a mask to nurses, doctors and the community’s homeless population.
“At this point, we’ve sold several thousand masks, so we’re donating that many as well,” Ellis said.
The masks are made out of a cotton blend and aide in the protection from COVID-19.
“We’re not selling medical-grade masks but we are using high-quality materials, including thread and elastic, to make masks that are reusable and washable,” Ellis said.
As Rais Case helps by donating masks to the community, selling masks is also helping the business stay running. The business has had to stop production of its handbags and temporarily close its storefront in Oceanside due to the closure mandate on non-essential businesses.
“This is definitely what will help us get through this,” Ellis said.
Ellis added that she is happy to be able to keep her team employed while also fulfilling a need for masks in the community.
Samantha Nelson covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son