The Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office is making its own N95-equivalent medical masks using a 3D printer, according to a post on the agency's Facebook page.

The sheriff's office is making the masks in conjunction with the Sweetwater County COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center. The masks will be used not only by the sheriff's office but other local emergency responders.

According to Lt. Joe Tomich, the masks are being made using a template created by a Montana neurosurgeon.

While the masks have yet to be certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or the Food and Drug Administration, the sheriff's office says research indicates the masks they are making are equivalent to the now-scarce N95 masks that are much in demand by those on the front lines if the battle against COVOD-19.

The masks cost only about $2.50 per mask to print.

Currently, the agency can make about three masks per day but has identified other 3D printers in the county that could be used to increase the production of the masks.

Medical facemasks, and especially the N95 variety, are in short supply around the country in the face of the surging numbers of coronavirus cases being reported across the nation.

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