While many Wisconsin businesses have closed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, some companies have shifted gears to help hospitals and health care workers.

Health care providers across the country have reported ongoing and dire shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including hospital gowns, face shields and respiratory N95 face masks.

Last week, the Wisconsin Hospital Association reached out to the construction trades through the state Department of Workforce Development and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce asking them to donate any unused N95 masks to their local hospital.

Dozens of smaller businesses have stepped up, too.

Family-owned company Canopies, a Milwaukee-based event rental company, would normally be booked with spring weddings and parties. But the COVID-19 pandemic halted business until owner David Hudak contacted Advocate Aurora Health.

The health care provider, which has hospitals in Illinois and throughout eastern Wisconsin, is now contracting with Canopies to provide tents to its hospitals in both states.

The tents are being used as a triage area before patients are taken into emergency rooms, Hudak said.

“It’s really great to be part of something that is helping during this crisis,” Hudak said. “It’s also good to know that I don’t have to lay off my guys during this. We would have had to shut down completely — for an unknown amount of time.” Read the full story here.