BY KEVIN DUGGAN
A trio of Brooklyn Navy
Yard companies are producing
tens of thousands of medical
face shields to protect the
city’s health workers against
the novel coronavirus, Mayor
Bill de Blasio announced on
The fi rms began making
the protective headwear out
of an impromptu factory in a
hangar on the grounds of the
Fort Greene industrial park,
bringing more than a hundred
of the companies’ employees
back to work after their businesses
shut down due to the
pandemic outbreak, according
to one manufacturing bigwig.
“Last week I was laying off
staff and shutting down my
factory and on Saturday afternoon,
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we started developing
face shields that were approved
by DOH,” said Michael
Bednark, the chief executive
offi cer of Bednark Studios, a
fabrication company that normally
creates pop up shops
and installations for brands
like Nike and Google.
Bednark partnered with
Duggal, another Navy Yard
fi rm that prints photographs
and produces other visual installations,
as well as co-working
space company Newlab.
None of the three companies
the protective gear, but they
worked with city Health Department
offi cials to make
sure their design was up to
Workers making face shields in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Photo by Kevin Duggan
code, according to Bednark.
The three organizations
aim to make between 15,000 to
18,000 of the plastic masks per
day and planned to complete
more than 100,000 by March
31. The city will then buy the
masks from the companies
and distribute them to hospitals
across the Five Boroughs,
according to offi cials.
De Blasio praised the companies
and the workers for
stepping up to the plate within
less than a week.
“Six days ago, none of this
existed, no one even had the
idea and bang, there’s a production
line right now,” de
Blasio said during a visit to
the makeshift manufacturing
facility Thursday afternoon.
“This is like a wartime factory,
a factory from scratch.”
Hizzoner plans to unveil
similar city-based production
of much-needed ventilators
and other medical equipment
soon, he said.
“We’ll be showing you this
week how ventilator production
is starting as well,” he
said. “Whether it’s face masks,
the surgical masks, ventilators,
you’re going to see a lot
more produced right here.”
Navy Yard companies produce
medical masks for hospitals
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Making Sense of the Census
This Census Day,
New York City
By Julie Menin, Director of NYC Census
Don’t be fooled — April 1st may have
a reputation for pranks, but it’s also one
of the most important dates for the 2020
Census. Why? Because April 1st is Census
ontrary to popular belief, Census
Day is not the final day (or the only day)
that you can respond to the census. If you
haven’t filled it out yet, don’t worry, you
still have time (although there’s no time
like the present).
So what is Census Day? It actually
serves a practical purpose. To make sure
all our census data has a standard reference
point, everyone is asked to fill out the
census with information that reflects their
households at the same moment, April 1st.
This is why we can say the census is like a
snapshot of our communities.
But this Census Day, we’re also taking
time to recognize the importance of
the census. In these difficult times, many
of us are looking for ways that we can help
support our communities, and filling out
the census is one of the most vital ways to
help shape our future for the better. Now
more than ever, as we face the COVID-19
pandemic, we need a complete count so our
communities can get the funding we need
for hospitals & healthcare, as well as the
data we need to respond to emergencies.
And since we can do the census online, by
phone, or by mail, we can get counted while
practicing social distancing.
Join us and spread the word. New Yorkers
will be posting the Census Day challenge
online — and we need you involved.
It’s as easy as sharing your census story or
a picture on social media and tagging three
friends, challenging them to complete the
2020 Census and pass the challenge along
to another three people. (Visit nyc.gov/census
to learn more and follow the conversation
via the hashtag #GetcountedNYC). So
if you’ve been putting off any texts or meaning
to check in with anyone, let Census Day
be your push to reach out. Your community
will thank you for it.
So get counted, challenge your friends,
and let’s make it count.
“Making Sense of the Census” is a
weekly column from Julie Menin, Director
of NYC Census 2020. Every week we
will be publishing pieces from Julie and
guest authors laying out the facts and
answering tough questions about this
year’s census. Fill out the census now at