With hand sanitizer flying off the shelves during the coronavirus outbreak, a North Georgia-based flooring company has worked behind the scenes to help battle the crisis.
For the past three weeks, ShawChem, a chemistry lab in Dalton for Shaw Industries, has made its own U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved hand sanitizer along with other disinfectant cleaning supplies.
"Shaw wants to keep our plants and associates safe first and foremost," Shaw communications director Curtis Callaway said. "ShawChem has helped make that possible with their expertise. They have really stepped up and flipped the switch with ease. Everyone right now has a heightened sense of making sure we stay safe."
The alcohol-based hand sanitizer is being kept internally at Shaw's North Georgia locations, while the company has shipped out name brand cleaning and disinfectant products to outlying facilities.
ShawChem is able to make over 70 different chemicals, but this is the first time there has been a need to produce hand sanitizer.
The high demand for hand sanitizer has forced the country to be proactive in trying to replenish the product that kills germs, but most importantly can save lives.
Lass & Lions, a Chattanooga-based craft local vodka distillery, has passed out its own hand sanitizer to those in need. A handful of prisons across the country have also had inmates mass produce hand sanitizer.
Shaw continues to focus on its internal needs and its employees, but has not ruled out eventually helping donate hand sanitizer to others.
The CDC recommends the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.
Shaw Makerspace, an innovative space open to all Shaw associates, has also provided help during this time of crisis.
"We have turned our Makerspace into a production studio to make face shields with our 3D printers," Callaway said. "The medical workers need these masks for protection. This past week we produced 1,500 of those masks, and we are getting them out into the local medical community. We are trying to use our resources the best we can to give back."
Shaw donated those masks to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, AdventHealth Gordon in Calhoun and to nine Life Care facilities in the Chattanooga area.
Another North Georgia-based flooring company, Mohawk Industries, has teamed up with Fabric Sources International to produce of medical isolation gowns and protective face shields for Hamilton Medical Center and Emory Healthcare in Atlanta.
Contact Patrick MacCoon at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.