NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. —
Tables, doorknobs, light switches, phones, remote controls, keyboards, toilets and sinks are a small sample of items that hands from multiple people touch every day. Rubbing your eyes, biting your fingernails, licking your thumb to turn a page, and licking your fingers after eating fried chicken are ways that our hands and fingers come in contact with our face and mouth.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious virus that is sweeping through the world. As of Thursday, April 2, there are over 213,000 reported cases with over 4,500 deaths related to COVID-19 nationwide. Because there is no vaccine for COVID-19, areas you use frequently need to be cleaned and disinfected daily at a minimum. This will help prevent the spreading of COVID-19 to others.
Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) put together a team to develop, manufacture and distribute cleaning and disinfecting kits to all its shops and codes.
“Even though we have had no positive cases here at NNSY, we wanted to stay ahead of the curve,” said Production Specialist Chris Hicks of the NNSY’s recently re-establish Supply Department (Code 510.2). “For the health of the workforce, it is always better to be proactive than reactive.”
There have been over 800 cleaning kits assembled and delivered with the numbers rising each day. Plus when the cleaning kits supplies run out, a new kit is issued. Putting together the cleaning kits was not a clean sweep.
“We have had significant challenges finding sources with on hand supplies to satisfy our requirements,” said NNSY’s Supply Officer Capt. Mark Garrigus. “In some cases the material is sold out from the suppliers while finalizing our procurement.”
“Fortunately, nearly all of the ingredients needed for these kits were already available here at NNSY,” said Hicks.
Various codes came together with their own expertise to help build the cleaning kits.
“Creating the kits was a joint effort of NNSY’s Supply Department (Code 500), NNSY’s Safety Department (Code 106), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and Mid-Atlantic Regional Materials Test Laboratory (Code 134),” said Code 530 Division Head Jimmy Broom. “All of these groups are experiencing the same shortages as the rest of the yard, but we were able to pull together and create these kits to help our employees to defend against the virus so we can continue to operate and support the fleet.”
The cleaning kits consist of a commercial disinfectant spray, disposable gloves and paper towels. Instructions and safety precautions are also included.
For more information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.