North

N.W.T. lab now producing hand sanitizer for front-line government workers

Taiga Environmental Laboratory has produced more than 1,700 litres of hand sanitizer for N.W.T. government staff that are interacting with the public.

So far, Taiga Environmental Laboratory has produced more than 1,700 litres of hand sanitizer

A person cleans their hands with hand sanitizer on March 4, 2020. Taiga Environmental Laboratory in the Northwest Territories is now capable of producing 300 litres of hand sanitizer a day for front-line government workers. (Koen Van Weel/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

An environmental analytical lab in the Northwest Territories is making hand sanitizer for government workers that are interacting with the public. 

According to a news release Friday, Taiga Environmental Laboratory (Taiga Lab) — which is part of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources — has received authorization from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer as well as Health Canada.

There is a global shortage of hand sanitizer, including in the North. 

The release says front-line workers include those at airports, as well as enforcement and wildlife officers and health-care workers. 

"Our experts at Taiga Lab are happy to be able to support them by providing a reliable supply of hand sanitizer to help keep their hands clean and reduce the spread of COVID-19," said Environment Minister Shane Thompson in the release.

"We are all in this together, and we all have a role to play in protecting our families, our elders and our communities."

So far, Taiga Lab has produced more than 1,700 litres of hand sanitizer for these workers, the release states. 

The lab is capable of producing 300 litres of hand sanitizer a day, but the release notes the global shortage and how even things like pump bottles are hard to come by.

Companies across the North have been stepping up to help meet the demand for hand sanitizer. 

In the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife-based 62 Degrees North, which provides medical services and supplies to northern communities and camps, has been making hand sanitizer to hopefully supply hospitals.

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