Local construction, paint industry impacted by coronavirus scare

Stores running out of face masks

Local construction, paint industry impacted by coronavirus scare

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Growing concern over contracting the coronavirus has people in Evansville clearing the shelves when it comes to face masks, but it’s causing a problem for some local businesses.

Rural King tells us they sold out of the face masks people are looking for more than a month ago, and one local painting business we spoke with tells us they rely on these masks to do their jobs every day.

Face masks help local businesses like 1st Patriot do their jobs safely.

“For anyone involved in drywall or painting, they’re going to constantly come in the need of a protective mask of some kind," said Joe Day, owner of 1st Patriot Enterprising.

The masks are something the painting company uses every day. However, due to an increase in coronavirus concerns, the supply is running out and concerning local business owners.

“The cloth masks are made specifically for dust and air particles, not so much for virus protection or bacteria to come in or out of the mask protection,” Day said.

The U.S. Surgeon General tweeted on Tuesday, saying the masks don’t provide you respiratory protection against the coronavirus.

The N95 mask was nowhere to be found at Rural King in Evansville. The store told us they sold out a month ago.

Day said they have more expensive masks on hand, but if the stock continues to disappear from shelves, it’s something that could not only impact the industry but also the consumer.

Day said using the more expensive masks could cause a substantial increase in cost, which could be forwarded to clients whether it be a larger construction company or something like paints and drywall.

The surgeon general said earlier on Tuesday that the N95 face masks require a special fit testing, and wearing them improperly can lead to an increase in face touching and an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus.

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