THOMASVILLE — By the end of December 2019, Gajendra Singh, M.D., a surgeon in Winston-Salem experienced a  shortage of masks for use in his office. The shortage lasted for several months and his practice suffered as the COVID pandemic spread, impacting the low-cost services his office provides.

He managed to buy masks online for the relatively high price of $45 a box, but that didn’t seem like a viable option. So, Singh, following the dictum that has launched a thousand startups — find a need and fill it — created GS Medical.

The small manufacturing firm was started in July in Thomasville, NC.

The company makes three-layer single-use masks it sells for $15 a box with discounts for larger purchases.

GS Medical Disposable Face Mask, Made in USA. GS Medical photo.

In an interview with WRAL TechWire, Dr. Singh, founder and CEO, explained that the masks offer more protection against air-borne spread of particles for which woven cloth masks are inefficient.

Studies have shown how far droplets can travel when people cough or sneeze and woven cloth masks allow more through than the GS Medical ones. “Their weave is so small it will hold most particles,” Singh explained.

Singh, who funded the company himself said, “I wouldn’t sell anything I didn’t use,” put the masks to work in his own practice, but also has donated many to local schools and colleges. “I did this to help the community,” he said, “not to get rich.”

His seven employees wear the masks at work, as well as gloves and other protective coverings, he said.

He encourages those who may need help such as firefighters, hospitals, and schools to contact the company. The masks can be purchased via the company website.