WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Columbia manufacturing company is working to produce new protective face shields to help those in the service industry get back to work safely.
Friday morning, Gov. Henry McMaster toured ZVerse’s new warehouse in West Columbia.
Eight weeks ago, ZVerse started producing face shields for those in the health care industry. The company has since produced more than three million face shields, making them one of the largest manufacturers of reusable face shields in the country.
This new design, called the ZShield Flex, is geared specifically towards salon owners, restaurant employees, and those in the service industry. The front of the shield can be flipped up and down, and it’s unlike a traditional face shield because it clasps around your neck instead of your head, similar to a necklace.
The clear design also allows one to see people’s facial expressions and communicate more clearly.
“This is designed first and foremost to be comfortable, very lightweight,” John Carrington, ZVerse founder and CEO, said. “It allows me to communicate both verbally and non verbally, but it’s an effective barrier from me transferring droplets from my nose or mouth to maybe food I’m handling or the customer themselves.”
Carrington says the company has created several different models of the ZShield Flex, and they’ve altered the design based on feedback from some Columbia business owners that have been testing them out.
“Local businesses have been giving really great feedback, and actually we’ve used that feedback to help design it more," he explained.
The governor says the shields will help South Carolina accelerate back to full prosperity.
“This new kind of shield gives everyone one more option, one more way to accomplish the mission to be safe and still get their work done," McMaster explained.
ZVerse says the shield is designed to not only protect employees of businesses that are reopening but also to make customers more comfortable.
The company says it’s already received thousands of pre-orders for the ZShield Flex, and the first shipments will go out on March 25. Carrington says the company will start producing 15,000 shields a day, with a goal to eventually produce 100,000 to 150,000 a day.
The retail price of one shield is $20, and ZVerse says they will also be sold in bulk to businesses.
The company has applied for a patent.