In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LB Distillers in Saskatoon started production and distribution of hand sanitizer to first responders. The Saskatoon company, which specializes in gin and vodka, said on March 19, 2020 in a Facebook post that it recognizes "there is a desperate demand but we wanted to provide sanitizer to those risking their own safety & don't have access to a hand washing station." (Facebook / FB Distillers)

USask unites: Saskatoon distilleries team up to make hand sanitizer

Since the first cases of COVID-19 were announced in the province, members of the USask community have come together to support one another in these uncertain times.

Extraordinary circumstances have brought out extraordinary responses from members of our USask community. From frontline health-care workers to researchers looking for a solution to this global health threat, there are so many stories about people are working to make our home communities safer and healthy. Here are a few of the inspiring stories of our students, staff, faculty and alumni.

A pair of Saskatoon-based distilleries are teaming up and retooling to start manufacturing alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic. Lucky Bastard Distillers and Stumbletown Distilling aim to produce their first bottles of emergency hand sanitizer this week, as reported by the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Lucky Bastard Distillers and Stumbletown Distilling aim to produce their first bottles of  emergency hand sanitizer this week, according to Lucky Bastard co-owner Michael Goldney (HOSADM'98, MD'02).

The virus has a lipid envelope and is “very susceptible” to soap and water, meaning hand washing should be the first line of defence, said Goldney, who is also a medical doctor.

However, many essential workers do not always have immediate access to soap and running water, hence the need for hand sanitizer, he said Thursday in an interview.

“For that reason, we recognized right away that we have limited production capacity, let’s take care of those people first and we are distributing the product to first responders,” he said.

“It’s not that easy,” he noted of the work necessary to retool a distillery to make hand sanitizer.

Despite some difficulty procuring sufficient quantities of hydrogen peroxide, Goldney said the distilleries now have enough alcohol and other ingredients such as distilled water to make 6,000 litres.

The resulting sanitizer, which is made according to the World Health Organization’s emergency recipe, will be shipped out in a variety of ways in 1.14-litre bottles, he said.

Read more at https://thestarphoenix.com/.

Share your stories with us: We are collecting the stories of resilience and good spirit from our USask community. Please send story ideas and photos to news@usask.ca.

As a community it is critical that we support each other and remain respectful during what is a difficult time for all of us. Please follow all guidelines and take all precautions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in our community.

How you can help our students during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://alumni.usask.ca/news/2020/covid-19-how-you-can-help-our-students.php

For the latest developments and information about the University of Saskatchewan's response to COVID-19, please go to www.usask.ca/updates.

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