An Atmosphere of community health and safety

LARAMIE – Recently, and in the midst of a shortage of personal protective equipment, the CDC issued a recommendation for all individuals to wear a face covering when out in public. Online retailers have been in short supply, and even supplies for home stitchers have been hard to come by. In a demonstration of the power of business adaptability, word of mouth, and community cohesiveness, Atmosphere Mountainworks has taken the post of providing Laramie with affordable and readily available face coverings. “We didn’t have to put out any advertisements that this is what we were doing,” said Lindsay Olson, co-owner. “We could just rely on locals passing that information along.”

Beyond personal face coverings, Atmosphere is also manufacturing equipment to be used by medical professionals. Production is currently in the works for face masks that can be sterilized at the hospital in an autoclave and reused by medical staff. With the current shortage in disposable personal protective equipment, or PPE, reusable items can be stored and used as backup should the need arise during the COVID-19 pandemic, or even future health needs. Atmosphere is also manufacturing isolation gowns to be worn by medical professionals while treating contagious patients. Isolation gowns must be replaced before and after each encounter to mitigate the risk of cross-contagion.

Photo by: Miranda Perry
A sample of the variety of face coverings available

Besides the evident green impact of reusable products, the sterilizable masks are actually created with a waste product from hospitals. When medical implements and instruments are autoclave sterilized, they are wrapped in the material that Atmosphere is using to create masks. “A lot of hospitals have it in stock, so we’ve had stuff donated that way,” said Olson. “Cheyenne Regional Hospital donated a lot of materials, and in turn we’re giving them masks back. They’re also allowing us to donate where we may have needs across the state, so our first batch went out to the Wind River Reservation.”

“We’re working to get the store open for regular hours,” said Olson. Currently items are available for order online or over the phone, and transactions can be made online, over the phone or through a nearly touchless card reader in person.

“If someone gives us a heads up, we can bring things out to them or have some limited shopping by letting them in right now. We’re hoping the next week or so to have the staff back up to maintain regular store hours.”

Photo by: Miranda Perry

Since 2001, locally owned Atmosphere Mountainworks has operated in Laramie offering outdoor gear and apparel. For novice to experienced outdoors people, Atmosphere carries a variety of locally manufactured bags and clothing, plus any other equipment and tools you may need for outdoor activities.

With a re-opening of many local businesses in the near future, the need for masks and other personal protective equipment will remain relevant as ever. Atmosphere will keep masks in stock as a new retail item, but Olson is looking forward to returning to their roots in outdoors gear.

Olson would like to extend Laramie a big thanks “for the ongoing support, and we look forward to recreating with people in the future.”

Photo by: Miranda Perry

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