COS employee 3D prints mask clips for medical workers

Bill Choy
Johnathan Andrus, chief executive officer at Fairchild Medical Center, left, and Joseph Weatherton of the College of the Siskiyous pose with 3-D face mask clips that Weatherton made for the hospital.

Joe Weatherton is doing his part to help medical workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Siskiyou County.

Weatherton, a System Support Specialist at College of the Siskiyous, is using the school’s 3-D printers to make mask clips, or, as Joe likes to call them, “ear savers,” for healthcare providers.

He has already delivered hundreds of clips to Fairchild Medical Center in Yreka, the Scott Valley Rural Health Clinic, and Siskiyou County Behavioral Health last week. He will also deliver clips to Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta this week.

Weatherton said with medical workers wearing masks for the majority of the day, the clips help avoid the elastic strap from harming the back of the ears.

Weatherton’s cousin is a nurse locally and has been working long hours since the pandemic has begun. He said before she had the clips, her ears were blistered and raw after wearing a mask for a long period of time. He said he was inspired by his cousin and all the dedicated first responders who are doing their part during this pandemic and wanted to assist them.

“It provides comfort for them since many wear these masks for 12 hours each day,” Weatherton said.

He first started to make prototypes and had his cousin and some of her coworkers test them out. The prototype clips proved to be a comfortable success, so he went about making more.

Weatherton is currently making the clips using two 3-D printers housed at the COS campus in Yreka. He said that each printer makes about 12 small-sized clips per hour, or eight large-size clips.

He has been busy making them before and after work. Weatherton said the college has been fully supportive of his endeavor and is grateful they have allowed him to use the printers.

On Thursday, he delivered 150 mask clips to Fairchild. Weatherton said the person who he delivered the clips to was “quite stoked,” and said he received a lot of positive feedback from those he talked to.

Weatherton plans to make more mask clips for those who need them in the community, and he’s also looking at making other needed equipment using the 3-D printers.

For more information on the clips, or for inquiries on them, contact Dawnie Slabaugh at the COS information department by calling (530) 938-5373, or email

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