The temporary hospital in the Seattle Seahawks’ stadium will include bed partitions made by a Minneapolis company that pivoted a few weeks ago to make products needed by those still working during the coronavirus outbreak.
On Thursday, three of seven trucks packed with 400 of Versare Solutions’ bed partitions were en route to the temporary hospital being built by the U.S. Army at CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle, said Doug Mark of Versare.
The stadium will be used to treat people who do not have the coronavirus.
Versare also received orders Monday from two Long Island hospitals needing to convert meeting and waiting rooms into treatment wards, the company said.
“They said they could not get these partitions fast enough,” said Jeff Eckerle, vice president of business development for the company.
Mark, a sales consultant, coordinated the effort, which put the 50-employee shop in northeast Minneapolis into overdrive.
Trucks hauling 350 partitions were headed to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and another hospital in Ronkonkoma on Long Island.
New York state is the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States with more than 92,000 cases verified statewide, 52,000 of them in New York City. Washington state has had nearly 6,000 cases verified.
Versare officials said they are also reaching out in case Minnesota needs to build extra care space in hospitals here.
In addition to the hospitals, Versare has made 3,500 partitions that are now en route to 11 distribution centers nationwide for a large grocery store chain. Those partitions will be used to build screening stations where grocery employees get their temperatures taken before being allowed to enter the store, Mark said.
Other orders Versare received last week were for scores of clear acrylic partitions that can separate customers and employees at pharmacies, stores and clinics.
Companies from Medtronic to 3M and Protolabs are ramping up production on much-needed medical devices and equipment.
Versare, which normally makes office cubicles and room dividers, has been so busy it called back laid-off workers so it could meet the demand for its new products. It’s now considering hiring 10 to 20 more people.
“Situations continue to grow at a very exciting clip,” Eckerle said.