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Local business owner donates masks, building to care for healthcare workers

The owner of a local business is helping to keep Colleton’s medical staff safe by donating vacuum bags that are being turned into face masks.
Rusty Jones owns Jones Vacuum and Portable Buildings, located at 773 N. Jefferies Boulevard in Walterboro.
For the last two weeks, he has been donating high-end vacuum bags to medical staff. The bags are being used to make masks for the medical personnel to wear during the current COVID-19 crisis. Coronavirus is a highly contagious respiratory virus that is impacting the nation.
Locally, schools, businesses, municipal buildings and parks are all closed to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“These masks are fabric-like and are used in the higher-end vacuums as air purifiers and filters,” he said. Jones, 43, is a lifelong Walterboro resident and is the sole owner of the business. He has owned it since 2005. “Our area’s medical staff members and healthcare workers are taking them and turning them into masks, to help keep themselves safe,” he said.
Nurses and medical staff from home health companies, hospitals, medical practices and physician offices are also asking for the masks. Jones said people from Hampton County, Dorchester County and Walterboro are using the filters to make their own masks.
Jones estimates that he has already donated more than $500 in bags, with packages of the bags en route to his office. All of these bags Jones has ordered will be given away, he said. On Friday, April 10th, Jones ordered $1,000 in vacuum bags that he plans to donate, he said.
“People from all around are asking for them. I’m giving them away, as long as the people promise me that they are using for their own masks and not selling them,” he said. “I’ll keep doing it. It’s the least I can do.”

Jones also recently donated a portable wooden shed to Lowcountry Urgent Care in Walterboro.
“The nurses and staff were out there testing people for COVID-19 under a tent and the wind was blowing the tent over,” said Jones. “It’s not right. They are in the sun and the rain, trying to help people in our community, and they don’t even have proper shelter. They shouldn’t have to work in those conditions.”
Jones loaded up the wooden shed onto his delivery truck and delivered it to the site last week. Now, the nurses and medical staff are using this in the facility’s parking lot as a testing center instead of a tent.
“They can have it for as long as they need it,” Jones said on Monday.
To ask for a vacuum bag donation to create masks amid the COVID-19 health crisis, call Rusty Jones at 843-549-0107.

Heather Walters (1730 Posts)