Gov. Cooper tours Durham facility that has been making PPE, repeats concerns about COVID-19 trends in NC

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Thursday, November 19, 2020
Gov. Roy Cooper tours Durham PPE facility
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Gov. Roy Cooper continued to voice concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic as he toured Bright View Technologies in Durham on Thursday.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Gov. Roy Cooper continued to voice concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic as he toured Bright View Technologies in Durham on Thursday.

Bright View, which manufacturers optics, lighting solutions and other technologies, has been making the personal protective equipment that's been in dire need since the start of the pandemic.

"I am proud of the North Carolina companies, like Bright View, that saw a need for personal protective equipment and got to work making more supplies," Cooper said. "This is the type of North Carolina innovation and cooperation that we need to get through this pandemic."

Bright View Technologies President Jennifer Aspell said the company has manufactured more than 750,000 face shields with the majority going to North Carolina state and social agencies.

"I am very proud of leading an organization that quickly adapted to a challenging environment and made a vital contribution to our community during this crisis," Aspell said.

Gov. Roy Cooper got an inside look at PPE production Thursday at Bright View Technologies in Durham.
Robert Willett/News & Observer.

After the tour, where Cooper saw face-shield construction and assembly lines, he took questions and urged residents to be vigilant about the safeguards that are currently in place for the holidays.

"We are particularly concerned with the percentage positive in cases is creeping up although it has not gotten into double digits yet," Cooper said. "We will do what we need to do in order to protect the health and safety of North Carolinians."

READ MORE: Durham company behind keeping COVID-19 vaccine cool during transport

The governor was asked about rollbacks if the state hits 10% positivity.

"We need to do a lot more testing, but the percent positive tells us a lot about where we are," Cooper responded. "It is a combination of metrics that we use to make our decisions."

Cooper also talked about a brand new $750 million facility in Durham that will produce vaccines.

"Not only will it create a lot of good-paying jobs to people in North Carolina, but it will help with protecting people from COVID-19 here in NC and across the world," Cooper said. "To be able to have everything you need right there to inject the vaccine into a person."

Apiject will employ more than 600 people and produce up to three billion doses beginning in 2022.

"We have become a hub for biotech and health sciences, and we are a place the world looks to, to help to manufacture lifesaving medicines and run clinical trials and do research," Cooper said.