Central Florida manufacturing businesses: The mayor would like your help to make supplies to fight coronavirus
Can your business make hand sanatizer and PPE? The mayor wants to talk to you
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County mayor has a business proposal for manufacturing businesses in Central Florida: Help fight the coronavirus pandemic by making much-needed supplies.
On Wednesday, Mayor Jerry Demings spoke directly to local businesses during the daily coronavirus news briefing asking them to help make hand sanitizer, personal protective equipment, known as PPE, and other items needed to help battle the respiratory illness with now more than 800 cases in Orange County.
Hand santizer is a hard to come-by item in stores and even online since the coronavirus pandemic and medical workers and first responders need masks, face protectors, gloves and gowns to protect themselves as they treat people with severe cases of the illness.
Demings said the county has ordered large quantities of PPE supplies from the state but is receiving small shipments at a time. Those shipments go to long-term care facilities, hospitals and first responders.
Orange County’s percentage of positive cases dropped from 10.4% to 9% on Wednesday, Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino, with the Florida Department of Health, said.
“That could be a hopeful sign but it could go up another day,” Pino said. “We are not going to be rid of this until we have a vaccine.”
In the meantime, county officials are still searching for viable resources to obtain more PPE. Demings said the county is interested in working with local manufacturing firms to make supplies.
Some businesses have already adapted during this new normal. Nautique boat factory in East Orange County shifted their work from upholstery for boats to sewing masks that can be used by hospital workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Additive manufacturing companies, better known as 3D printing, are also stepping up. The Maker Foundation created a list of needed supplies for health care workers that could be produced by at-home 3D Printers.
“If we can’t rely on the supply chain from the federal government then perhaps the better solution is to produce it here locally,” Demings said, adding “I know there are manufacturing facilities in the area.”
This is a business opportunity, Demings said, during a time when many are struggling financially due to the pandemic.
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