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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Guidance for Building Re-occupancy and Water Treatment, New Funding to Ramp up Vaccine Vials

6/15//2020

The ANSI Federation and standardization community are stepping up with guidance, resources, and initiatives to support public health, safety, and infrastructure during the COVID-19 outbreak. ANSI is monitoring, sharing, and promoting appropriate news to highlight these efforts. Suggestions for news items may be submitted to pr@ansi.org. All submissions are published at ANSI's discretion.

Corning Awarded Funding to Ramp Up Glass Vaccine Vial Production

Corning Inc. announced that it will substantially expand its domestic manufacturing capacity of Corning Valor Glass vials to accelerate delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to support the treatment of patients. Corning was awarded funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through its partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and Army Contracting Command.

“Valor Glass sets a new standard for quality and performance in pharmaceutical packaging. It is purpose-built for pharmaceuticals and is uniquely positioned to enable faster, more reliable drug manufacture and delivery – attributes that are critical to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response,” said Brendan Mosher, vice president and general manager, Corning Pharmaceutical Technologies.

In 2017, Corning joined ANSI member Merck and Pfizer at the White House to announce a Valor Glass collaboration focused on modernizing pharmaceutical glass packaging. Corning also reports that the increase in vial manufacturing surge capacity will help meet the rapidly growing demand for glass containers as pharmaceutical companies enter COVID-19 clinical trials towards eventual approval of vaccines and treatments. At the time of publishing, ANSI member Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and others are working on developing a viable vaccine for the coronavirus.

Honeywell Shares "N95 Masks Explained," Highlights How Automation Can Help Fast Track a Vaccine

Honeywell has launched an informational section on its site dedicated to N95 masks, which are regulated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). N95 Masks Explained describes various elements of N95 masks, and how they work. Honeywell reports it has increased production of the filtering facepiece respirators at multiple facilities globally to meet production demands.

On its website, Honeywell also reports that in the race for a vaccine, automation technologies can help speed up the manufacturing process and make the process safer and more efficient. Learn more at honeywell.com.

International Code Council Offers Guidance on Building Re-occupancy for Reopening Economies

With phased re-openings in progress across the country, the International Code Council (ICC) has released its compiled guide of safety precautions and considerations for companies and building managers set to reoccupy their offices, available via the ICC Coronavirus Response Center.

ICC's response center features topics on addressing any temporary changes needed for building access and exit patterns, assessing building water distribution, facilitating adequate distancing protocols, and disinfecting communal areas, among other guidance.

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our society, both economically and socially," said Dominic Sims, CBO and CEO, ICC. "As we continue to learn to navigate the new normal and discover what that actually entails, having easy access to information on topics like how to properly prepare a vacant building for reoccupation is crucial, especially during reopening efforts.”

Kohler Supports COVID Efforts with Safety Equipment Items

Kohler Co. has announced that it has sourced and donated nearly 100,000 safety equipment items, including masks, goggles, and disinfectants to fight COVID-19. Its website also mentions that it is working to design, manufacture, and donate 200,000 face shield for healthcare workers around the world.

The company reports that it has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to provide critically needed Hygiene Relief Kits to 5,000 village residents near Kohler facilities in rural India, where access to water and adequate hygiene is often in short supply. Within the U.S., Kohler is working with local United Way chapters and connecting associates with volunteer opportunities through boots-on-the-ground organizations, including Meals on Wheels.

See more about Kohler's efforts on the company's COVID-19 response webpage.

LakePharma Releases Webinars on Reagents and Assays for COVID-19 Antibody Response

LakePharma has released two webinars on Reagents & Assays for COVID-19 Antibody Response on its YouTube page. In a statement on its webpage the company announced: "LakePharma is working on a range of COVID-19 projects to facilitate vaccine approaches and diagnostics. We believe these COVID-19 projects hold great potential for downstream COVID-19 vaccine development. We are pleased to see our broad technical expertise and capacity being applied in response to a worldwide emergency."

View, Part 1: LakePharma Reagents & Assays for COVID-19 Antibody Response webinar, recorded on April 15, 2020, and Part 2: LakePharma Reagents & Assays for COVID-19 Antibody Response webinar, recorded on May 14, 2020.

Check on LakePharma's COVID-19 activities on its webpage.

See more ANSI member efforts in the ANSI COVID-19 Resource Webpage Highlighting Standardization Community Response Efforts.

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