In the midst of the spread of COVID-19, some people within the community have heeded the warnings taking all necessary precautions by wearing gloves, masks and isolating to flatten the curve and prevent the spread. E&J Gallo Winery has also joined the fight against the virus by producing their very own hand sanitizer and has taken several safety measures within their operations. The in-house produced hand sanitizer has been donated to the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services.
“Given the shortage of sanitizer, our team members at our Spirits plant as well as our Livingston Winery took the initiative to work together to begin producing hand sanitizer with the help of employee volunteers who have been helping us bottle it,” explained Stephanie Gallo, Chief Marketing Officer at E&J Gallo Winery. “Gallo is proud to support the communities where we live and work during these times.”
According to Raj Singh, Public Information Officer for the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services, Gallo reached out to them to see if they could use some hand sanitizer and as there was a shortage at the time it was absolutely something they could use. Gallo donated about 800 cases of hand sanitizer along with a five gallon keg that they gratefully accepted. The consistency is similar to rubbing alcohol and not like the jelly type of substance that most hand sanitizers seem to be comprised of, but it still does the job intended.
“We are excited to partner with Aemetis, an advanced renewable fuel and biochemicals company, which is graciously donating high purity alcohol from its Keyes, CA facility to Gallo,” noted Gallo. “We appreciate Aemetis’ partnership, and Gallo is honored to play a small role in helping to fill an unmet need in our communities. In addition to our employees receiving sanitizer, Gallo is donating sanitizer to the Offices of Emergency Services in Stanislaus, Merced, Fresno, Napa, Sonoma, San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties in support of medical personnel and first responder needs.”
Singh explained that the responsibility of the County Office of Emergency Services is to distribute goods that are collected from the national stock pile from Sacramento and DC. These goods are then distributed to first responder agencies, hospitals, any other medical facilities or skilled nursing facilities as needed. The same process occurred with the hand sanitizer that was donated; it is being given out to the agencies that are in need.
The agencies have an internal order process that they adhere to and due to the current situation have made hospitals and healthcare facilities a priority as they deal with potential exposure on a daily basis and then the inventory will go to first responder agencies.
“It is absolutely amazing to see private industry and private companies are stepping up and helping in this task that affects everybody in the community,” stated Singh. “We are just fortunate that they are in our backyard, in our county where a lot of other counties are struggling to get some of these basic supplies like hand sanitizer and things like that. We are actually one of the counties that are able to provide that so that is more so just a peace of mind for our crews, our first responders, our hospital staff, that they have that, that they can use it to help clean, help disinfect and do whatever they have to do. It is that peace of mind that they have it and they don’t have to ration it while they are doing their work.”
They do not have the quantity available to provide product to the public but they are hopeful that in the future they may. With the community doing their part as well by staying home especially if they are sick or have symptoms has helped slow the spread down but the threat is still there.
Singh expressed that young adults may receive mild symptoms and need to be aware that they can affect others especially those at higher risk that are age 65 and older or have underlying medical conditions. And although isolation may be difficult, it can help prevent the spread.