Employees at a family-owned manufacturing facility in Rockland County are doing everything they can to fight the coronavirus outbreak — one wipe at a time.
Orangeburg's Nice-Pak Products has been churning out hand wipes and surface sanitizers faster than the virus that prompted the demand is spreading, even if the employees are working overtime to keep up.
"The challenge we have today is staying abreast of it, because the demand is going straight up with the environment we are living in and the coronavirus," said President and CEO of the company, Robert Julius.
The company that has been operating around the clock recently was founded more than 60 years ago by Julius' father, and now has 4,000 employees in six facilities worldwide. It has become the leading manufacturer of premoistened wipes, and it is a crucial link in the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus.
"Hand hygiene is the single most important factor in preventing illness and cross contamination," Julius told NBC New York. "That would be great if we all had sinks and soap and water to carry around with us, but we don't."
The recent madness behind coronavirus has driven a 25 percent spike in production, especially as the outbreak hit closer to home. Another official with the company said they started getting prepared in October, and when the virus started spreading in U.S. earlier this year, they saw the first initial boost — which has only gotten bigger this past week.
Being such a critical link, the company is instituting health screening practices and asking employees to refrain from non-essential travel.
"They understand how important their work is and they get a lot of satisfaction getting that extra volume out the door, knowing what it’s going to right now," said Nice-Pak's Vice President of Operations, Jerry Zukowsky.
The company alerted their chemical and packaging suppliers at the start of the outbreak and had a small reserve on-hand to ensure there's no product interruption, but Julius still recognized the challenge of keeping this pace of production going.
"We couldn't anticipate this but we’re staying abreast of it but obviously if it continues for any length of time its challenging," Julius said.