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Daily COVID-19 Update: April 8

April 8, 2020
Advanced Disinfectant Technology; GM, Ventec Finish Ventilator Agreement; Contributed COVID-19 Wisdom

At the beginning of the week, the Surgeon General of the United States said this week would be one of the hardest of the coronavirus outbreak. New Jersey and New York today announced record death tolls to the virus. In manufacturing, Tesla Motors announced employee furloughs and wage cuts, Airbus cut its U.S. production operations, and countless smaller manufacturers suffered lost production, jobs, and supplies.

But signs of “a light at the end of the tunnel,” as the Surgeon General put it, were also present today. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo, announcing the record death tolls, noted that rates of ventilator intubations and admissions into hospitals and intensive care units all appeared to be slowing down. And Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases signaled in an interview with Fox News that plans were being made in the government for a “re-entry into normality.”

“That doesn’t mean we’re going to do it right now,” cautioned Fauci, the top infectious diseases doctor in the United States, “but it means we need to be prepared to ease into that.”

Meanwhile, in China, officials lifted the lockdown on the city of Wuhan, the first major epicenter of the pandemic. The lockdown lasted a total of 76 days.

Disinfectant: Beyond Disposable Wipes

As hospitals deal with disinfectant shortages alongside dwindling supplies of PPE, Sterifre Medical’s AURA system provides a novel solution. The system uses an aerosol of hydrogen peroxide to disinfect objects placed inside a box and is totally automated, allowing physicians to clean tools without expending extra time, effort, or resources. According to Sterifre CEO Rick Shea, a single cartridge of disinfectant in the machine can replace almost 200 disinfectant wipes. Read the full story here.

Contributed Wisdom for Dealing with COVID-19

According to the former CEO of Baxter International, Harry Kraemer, leading during a stressful period like the coronavirus outbreak can be incredibly stressful for executives and business leaders. Feelings like anxiety and pressure can overwhelm even effective leaders, incapacitating them. Kraemer offers two key mantras leaders need to understand in a crisis to move forward, despite pressure. Read the full story here.

In order for a company to operate, it also needs a plan. Dan Markovitz, a Shingo prize-winning author, speaker and consultant, says that the coronavirus outbreak really means that businesses need to implement hoshin kanri even more than usual. According to Markovitz, the strategy is an execution tool that is essential to keep companies on task in the face of unanticipated obstacles, like a global pandemic. Read the full story here.

GM, Ventec Acquire $490 Million Ventilator Contract

General Motors and Ventec Life Systems received a contract for 30,000 ventilator life-support machines from the Department of Health and Human Services. The partnership, which both companies have been working on since March 20, will see Ventec working with GM to produce the ventilators in GM’s Kokomo, Indiana auto parts facility using paid volunteers represented by UAW. Read the full story here.

Manufacturers Doing Their Part

The Hillery Company, a custom metal company, and sheet metal union SMART say they’re collaborating to produce and donate as many metal nose strips as they can to surgical mask makers. The metal nose strips are used in the design of fabric face masks to bend around the top of the nose, hold the mask in place and increase comfort. According to SMART, the partnership has resulted in the delivery of more than 40,000 metal nose strips to date.

BIMobject, a company dedicated to hosting designs for buildings and interior products on a cloud-based platform, says it has opened up its cloud platform for medical equipment manufacturers to upload 3D printing files for medical equipment and designs for emergency structures. Its COVID-19 collaboration platform can be found here.

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