MAINE (News release) -- With the novel coronavirus whipping across the U.S., ND Paper tapped its global roots to source critical personal protection equipment to the U.S. - both for our 1,400-strong workforce and for donation to frontline first responders.
ND Paper earned accolades from both Gov. Janet Mills (D-Maine) and Gov. Tony Evers (D-Wisconsin) for donating thousands of medical grade protective clothing and more than 100,000 disposable medical masks for distribution to frontline healthcare workers in those two states alone.
At the behest of CEO Ken Liu, employees moved quickly to secure medical-grade masks, gowns, facial shields and other person protection equipment to curb the spread of the virus.
In total, by creatively tapping our global sourcing and procurement processes, ND Paper donated 6,000 medical disposable protective gowns and 130,000 disposable medical masks to health care workers in Maine, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Illinois and Boston, Massachusetts.
In addition, ND Paper also successfully secured more than 20,000 disposable masks for use at our mills and offices.
"The healthy and safety of ND Paper employees is always our highest priority, but this virus has no boundaries and has impacted each of us, our families and our community in many ways," Ken said, noting the company has thus far been fortunate to not have a single mill employee become infected so far.
"This is a critical time for us to step up and use our global network to bring this desperately-needed equipment to the U.S. and into our local communities."
When the novel coronavirus popped up on both coasts in the U.S. in late February, hospitals across the country quickly reported shortages of masks and other key equipment. It quickly became clear the U.S. strategic stockpile of medical supplies was outmatched by the spread of COVID-19.
Items in particular need include personal protective equipment, or PPE, which health-care workers require to keep themselves safe while treating infectious-disease patients. PPE and medical supplies are critically important to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our national health care workforce.
As of May 5, the U.S. has lost more than 60,000 residents to the virus, while more than a 1.1 million residents are currently infected, even as some states begin a phased-in approach to reopening some businesses.
Here's the breakdown of our PPE donation across the U.S. in the last month:
Maine - Maine Emergency Management Agency: 3,000 medical disposable protective clothing 3,000 and 40,000 disposable medical masks. Boston Police Central Supply: 25,000 disposable medical masks
Wisconsin - State of Wisconsin: 1,500 medical disposable protective clothing and 20,000 disposable medical masks
West Virginia - State of West Virginia: 1,500 medical disposable protective clothing and 20,000 disposable medical masks
Illinois - DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management: 25,000 disposable medical masks
ND Paper appreciates the recognition from the both Gov. Evers and Gov. Mills, and the company remains grateful to the U.S. healthcare workforce that continues to work tirelessly to tamper down this highly contagious virus.