The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is creating massive disruption in consumer spending, supply chains and retail operations. There isn’t a segment of the photo/imaging industry that hasn’t been affected. We’ve been noting many of the ways industry companies have responded, either with donations or by providing protective equipment to first responders, health care professionals and hospitals. Among the labs who have retooled include Advertek Inc., which is offering plain, branded or custom printed face shields (shown at right); and Nations Photo Lab, offering plastic face shields.
Circle Graphics donated vinyl materials to make heavy-duty reusable gowns, at a large-scale personal protective equipment distribution operation at Louisiana State University (LSU). LSU employees are working with physicians in New Orleans and Shreveport to develop and produce heavy-duty, reusable gowns and face shields.
Jostens, one of the school photo companies most impacted by the collapse of the last half of the academic year, has retooled to begin manufacturing health and safety products. The company announced thousands of non-surgical cloth face masks are being produced and distributed out of the company’s plants in Laurens, South Carolina, and its NEFF letter jacket and apparel facility in the Dominican Republic.
The Laurens facility expects to be operating at a capacity of 8,500 masks/week, with its NEFF facility producing masks at an even greater rate. “We’re working with primary and secondary partners to make and distribute as many masks as possible,” said Diosnedy Estevez, Jostens NEFF plant manager who is orchestrating efforts out of the Dominican Republic. “As a designated Essential Business in our community, it’s our responsibility and our honor to do everything we can.”
In addition to the production of non-surgical masks, Jostens is preparing for the production of up to 120,000 Level I disposable medical gowns per month out of its Maco-Mex facility in Aguascalientes, Mexico – a facility designed to produce high school and college graduation gowns.
Netherlands-based photobook printer Albelli recently donated €25,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund of the World Health Organization (WHO). This amount will be directly spent on combating and detecting this pandemic worldwide.
DNP Imagingcomm America Corp. (DNP IAM) announced it will donate 35 half-face respirators and several cases of P100 Filter Cartridges to local hospitals for distribution. The donation of supplies helps support the safety of front-line medical providers as they treat patients with COVID-19.
“We are very grateful to be able to help our local healthcare providers during this tough and uncertain time,” says Shinichi Yamashita, President of DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation. “We are proud of our local community and want to show support for the medical professionals who help keep us safe not just during this time, but in our everyday lives.”
Vistaprint, the leading online provider of marketing products and services to small businesses, is donating 100,000 face shields to be distributed among 100 healthcare facilities in underserved, small communities. Vistaprint is also adapting its North American manufacturing processes and is sharing this knowledge throughout its global operations to expand production in the coming weeks.
“We have served small businesses for over 20 years in many different ways and in this current environment that means supporting the frontline healthcare teams who are the critical heart-beat of local communities in these unprecedented times,” says Ricky Engelberg, CMO, Vistaprint. “I am proud to work with a team that is so nimble, innovative, and passionate that they were able to start production of these much-needed supplies in a matter of days. So many of our customers come from smaller communities, and it is a privilege to be able to support their frontline healthcare providers.”