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Lehigh Valley Businesses Step Up to Fight COVID-19, Supplies Being Sought

By Colin McEvoy on April 7, 2020

OraSure Technologies has received a federal contract help develop an in-home oral coronavirus self-test that provides results within 20 minutes.

OraSure Technologies has received a $710,310 contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help develop an in-home oral coronavirus self-test that provides results within 20 minutes, which would significantly alleviate pressure on the federal health care system.

Additionally, B Braun has been manufacturing infusion therapy products and other medical supplies to help protect and treat COVID-19 patients around the nation. The U.S. Navy hospital ships Comfort in New York Harbor, and Mercy in Los Angeles Harbor, are now stocked with B Braun supplies.

These are just a few examples of Lehigh Valley companies that have stepped up to help fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The Made Possible in Lehigh Valley initiative have been highlighting these company stories on its Instagram account. See below for more of those posts.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) also continues to support a multi-agency effort to connect regional businesses with care-providing agencies in need of personal protective equipment and supplies.

“The objective of this effort is to ensure that sites across Lehigh Valley that are providing essential services at a time of unprecedented need continue to have access to the materials and equipment they need to care for the community,” said Karianne Gelinas, LVEDC Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Research.

This effort will supply various agencies associated with Lehigh and Northampton counties, including nursing homes, prisons, municipal health bureaus, and emergency first responders.

Items being sought include N95 masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, surgical masks bleach, gloves, surgical gowns, thermometers, ventilators, electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, and more.

If your organization has items in its inventory, or if you are a manufacturer that has shifted operations to produce any of these items, and you are willing to provide them for regional health care sites, visit this link and form by the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley for information about how to donate them.

The Volunteer Center has also established this webpage identifying needs for materials, equipment, and supplies sought by specific care-providing organizations.

In addition to the Volunteer Center, our partners in this effort include the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

In addition to these collection efforts, below are several examples of individual Lehigh Valley companies that have diverted from their regular business practices to help fight the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have a story to share, contact Michael Keller, the Marketing Manager for Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, at [email protected].

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OraSure Technologies, the Bethlehem-based medical device and technology company that garnered worldwide attention years ago with its rapid HIV test, has been awarded a federal contract to develop an in-home oral coronavirus test, leveraging their global experience and capabilities with self-tests to thwart the spread of COVID-19 in the months to come. ? The test’s development is a possible game changer in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This would allow healthcare providers and online vendors to ship a test directly to people’s homes, reducing unnecessary trips to the hospitals or doctor offices. ? “Lives and global economies are at stake. It’s crucial that we understand just how many people are infected with SARS-coronavirus,” OraSure President and CEO Stephen S. Tang said in a statement. “In-home self-testing will dramatically increase the capacity for SARS-coronavirus testing and give our healthcare systems and labs some much-needed breathing room.” ? OraSure has worked with the federal government in the past on developing testing for Ebola and on other public health initiatives. ? #lvmadepossible #lehighvalley #covid19 #coronavirus #orasure #proudneighbor #makeadifference #community #rapidresponse

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@filamentinnovations and @ProtoCAM have teamed up to produce 3D printed masks and face shields for front-line local health care providers at @mystlukes, working on a custom design to print #N95 respirator masks and face shields. ? “These masks and face shields reduce the risk of airborne transmission from an actively sick patient to the individuals providing care,” said Kara Mascitti, MD, St. Luke’s Medical Director of Health Care Epidemiology and Infection Prevention. “By helping keep our doctors, nurses and health care teams safe, it helps prevent the spread to their loved ones and others.” ? The design for the masks, which can be sterilized and reused, was taken from Thingiverse, a website where people can share digital designs. ? ? @wlvrnews and @lehighvalleylive ? #lvmadepossible #lehighvalley #covid19 #coronavirus #healthcareheroes #3dprinting #makeadifference #community #healthcare

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In times of crisis, you can count on the community to step up in big ways. ? Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI) is donating more than 9,000 N95 face masks and 22,600 pairs of gloves, plus safety glasses and goggles to protect local health care workers during the coronavirus crisis. The equipment has been donated to @lvhealthnetwork, @mystlukes, @goodshepherdrehab and other organizations that may need them. ??????????? These in-demand respirator masks were donated to LCTI’s supply chain management and logistics technology program nearly a decade ago, but fortunately they had remained in storage and unused up until now. ? “Safety comes first at LCTI,” said Kurt Adam, the school’s director of career and technical education “…one of the first things our students learn is how to put on personal protective equipment. We understand how important it is that EMTs, paramedics, doctors and nurses have everything they need to stay safe on the front lines of this pandemic. ? #lvmadepossible #n95 #community #lehighvalley #healthcare #ppe

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A local Lehigh Valley manufacturer is doing its part to protect and treat the world from COVID-19. ? Workers at B. Braun remain on the job, continuing to make medical supplies that healthcare providers around the world are using to treat COVID-19 patients, including on the #USNavy hospital ships in New York and Los Angeles, the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy. ? The ships are stocked with B. Braun’s infusion therapy products, many of which are manufactured in the Allentown facility, including their Space™ Infusion Pumps, IV Sets and IV Solutions, Blood filter pump sets and Space pump sets, and Pain Control Products. ? The company increased production at its North American plants early this year in an effort to be ready in case there was an uptick in COVID-19 cases. The goal now is to keep the inventory stocked as the coronavirus spreads. ? Full story on WFMZ @69News with @the_will_lewis ? #lvmadepossible #medicine #community #lehighvalley #healthcare #bbraun #bbraunmedical #usnscomfort #usnsmercy

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Huaxia Chinese School – Lehigh Valley donated more than $33,000 worth of medical masks to local healthcare providers in the region, taking initiative in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Donations went to @lvhealthnetwork, @mystlukes, and Easton Hospital. ?? Located on the @northamptoncommcollege main campus in Bethlehem, Huaxia Chinese School began searching for medical supplies when the coronavirus hit China in late January. Yi Cai, president of the Huaxia Chinese school, said many parents of students at the school are medical professionals. ????? “They had been searching for these medical supplies back then when China started to have the coronavirus outbreak,” Cai said. “So, they bought some from Japan and from all around the world to support China.” When the coronavirus reached the United States and the Lehigh Valley area, Huaxia Chinese School decided to approach the suppliers about obtaining medical supplies to support the local community. ? Story and Picture from @lubrownwhite ? #lvmadepossible #community #ppe #donations #sharingiscaring #lehighvalley #proudneighbor #unitedwestand

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Main Street Market in Bangor has been providing “Blessing Boxes”, filled with about a week’s worth of food and essential items, for members of the community who may be struggling financially or negatively affected from the impacts of COVID-19. ? The market is among the essential businesses permitted to stay open, so the market owners put several boxes near the front door last weekend with a sign alerting people the food was free for those in need. Almost immediately, customers began buying additional items so the market could put out more boxes. ? In the first week, the market had given out over 130 boxes and donations continue to come in for the community. ? Full story on @lehighvalleylive ? credit: @lehighvalleylive ? #lvmadepossible #slatebelt #community #sharingiscaring #lehighvalley #blessingboxes #proudneighbor

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