CLEVELAND — On Monday, a Cleveland manufacturer is playing a crucial role in helping to fight the new coronavirus by producing an in-demand tool that helps build ventilators.
Jergens Inc. has been making tooling products for American manufacturers since the 1940s. But in 2020, they're now part of the nation's urgent response to battle a global pandemic.
Jergens produces a high-end screwdriver used to make precision medical devices, including ventilators.
There is an urgent need for more ventilators in the United States to address a potentially high number of people gravely ill from the new coronavirus.
News 5 spoke with the president and CEO of Jergens, Jack Schron, on Friday.
"Just two days ago we got an emergency call from folks in the ventilator industry," said Schron. "They needed 16 of our screwdrivers, immediately. We had to ship them out next day express-delivery to be there first thing in the morning, so they had them on their production line to be manufacturing ventilators."
We asked how they're protecting their 250 employees in Cleveland from getting sick.
Schron says they've turned into a 24-7 facility. He says more shifts allow fewer people to work at once and helps them practice social distancing.
He says those who can work from home, are, and human resource is available daily.
Schron credits the employees of Jergens for making this happen.
"I was just amazed at when we threw the idea out, how many people stood up and said they're willing to volunteer because we want to be part of the solution," he said. "They're working third shift. They're working Saturdays. They're working Sundays -- just to social distance from their contemporaries."
Many manufacturers will remain open during this time as they're deemed essential businesses and critical to the supply chain.
However, they must comply with social distancing requirements.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Ohio, a timeline of Governor Mike DeWine's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio, and link to more information from the Ohio Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.