News Director Patty Burns of KBNN Radio in Lebanon contributed to this story.

A southwest Missouri furniture and bedding factory best-known for making mattresses and sofas is now producing gowns and masks for hospitals and for nursing homes.

Justice Furniture in Lebanon had numerous customers postpone orders because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Owner Angie Jackson tells Missourinet Lebanon affiliate KBNN that producing the gowns and masks addresses a critical health care need, and keeps her employees working.

An employee at Justice Furniture in southwest Missouri’s Lebanon works on a hospital gown (March 2020 photo Patty Burns, KBNN Radio)

“I have a lot of extremely talented sewers and we deal in fabrics all the time, which the masks and gowns aren’t necessarily our type of fabrics,” Jackson says. “But it just seemed like it might be a good fit.”

Justice Furniture is making surgical gowns and masks for Springfield-based CoxHealth, and for some area nursing homes.

“We have been making gowns for isolation units and surgical gowns for them (CoxHealth), and then I will also be making some gowns for a couple of nursing homes in Lebanon who have reached out to me,” says Jackson.

Other Lebanon manufacturers are also providing critical gear: Dowco is making plastic shields for doctors and nurses.

Detroit Tool Engineering is making components for personal protective equipment (PPE), and Emerson is making components for air conditioners, which are critical in warmer climates.

Lebanon is located in Laclede County, about 54 miles northeast of Springfield.

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