TROY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Visiontech Solutions Group recently donated more than 250,000 general-use masks to local businesses and essential workers.

Founder and CEO Rick Perrault says the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a lack of access, and education, regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the United States. 
“Americans are being educated on why masks are so important, and it’s been a transition. But the supply is not there to meet the demand. That’s where we’re stepping in. We’re really trying to help the local community get access to these hard-to-get products," said Perrault. Perrault says he noticed a lack of access to PPE when he saw people using cloth face masks as a quick solution to a dangerous virus.
“The issue with the cloth mask is it doesn’t protect you from the particulate. It does protect others if you’re sick, but it doesn’t protect you from getting sick if someone else is sick," he said. Another potential risk with cloth masks is cross-contamination if the mask is not washed after a single-use. That's why Visiontech Solutions Group established a supply chain of N95 general-use masks, a protective device designed to achieve a close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. These N95 masks are not medical-grade masks. They are a one-time-use disposable device meant for use in public spaces. These masks were not readily available for the public until recently, and now Perrault says the community should take advantage of top-notch protection. 

“We do have [N95] masks where you can use it in a business atmosphere, [as] an individual if you’re going to the grocery store, and [the N95 mask] blocks about 95 percent of the particulate. If you have access to these, they’re certainly an upgrade and they protect you from the virus," said Perrault. After donating many of these FDA-approved masks to local businesses and essential workers, VSG wants to open sales to the public. The company is hoping that distributing more effective PPE to the community will reduce the number of COVID-19 cases. “That’s why we were really called to go out and get this product to the people who need it, especially as we’re getting ready to open our country back up for business,” said Perrault.