CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) – Schools on the Crystal Coast are helping emergency personnel stay protected as they serve coronavirus patients.

Duke and UNC Marine Lab are working with a Beaufort Middle School teacher to make face shields with a 3-D printer.

The shields consist of a clear visor with rubber backs. It covers the whole face, blocking the spread of any droplets from a person.

The 3-D printer is normally used to print out other items. But because of the pandemic, staff decided to help out the community.

Workers say the idea came from hearing about the shortage emergency personnel are facing during this time.

“It’s good that we can do our part, you know and not sit by and watch everything unfold, we could do something to help,” said Julian Dale, lead engineer at Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort.

More than a hundred of face shields have been distributed to first responders and emergency personnel in the Carteret County.

Each shield costs $1.30 to make. It takes about an hour and half to print two face shields at a time. Workers will continue to print the item until the need is met.