SASKATOON -- Benchmark PPE has opened a personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing facility in Saskatoon to make surgical masks.

“Saskatchewan is a great place to invest and do business, so we are thrilled to be here opening up our new facility,” Benchmark PPE director of operations and co-owner Olga Bugrova said in a news release from the province.

The surgical masks are available now and the company also plans to make N95 respirators in the next few weeks, he said.

Businesses resuming operations as part of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan may be required to use PPE.

Occupations that require workers to come into close contact with people known or suspected of having COVID-19 need to take extra precautions, including wearing PPE, the province says.

Benchmark PPE is a Canadian company serving the industrial, mining, and construction industries as a manufacturer of specialty engineered products.

Their surgical masks recieved American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International) certification earlier this month.

The business is recruiting about 30 new employees to help produce up to five million masks per month, the province says.