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Garmat Innovates to Combat the COVID-19 Virus

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The headlines scream that we are facing a critical shortage of PPE in the fight against COVID, and that protecting our medical providers against contamination is of the utmost importance.  There is a call to manufacturers to innovate and help overcome this crisis, 3D printers around the country are churning out masks, to help fill the void.  Manufacturers are turning their factories into medical device fabricators. At Garmat we are joining the fight to help stop the COVID-19 epidemic, with a new idea, an idea that protects the medical provider while saving PPE.

Garmat USA is a leading U.S. based manufacturer of Paint Booths and Refinish Equipment. Our company is well versed in innovation, and we possess agile manufacturing processes that allow for easy product customizations.  This led us to research ideas to help fight the COVID-19 crisis.

The core of our business is providing a clean environment through containment, which includes expertise in airflow and differential pressure.  We are leveraging that expertise to support the battle against COVID-19, and the development of the COVID-19 Walk-Up Testing Booth. This product was developed from start to finish in less than six days, and we know that getting it out the door is critical, so we focused all of our attention on the development.

The availability of safe and rapid testing is one of the most critical tools in the fight against COVID-19. In the weeks and months ahead, both the number of tests and availability of testing sites will need to grow exponentially. We believe Garmat’ s innovative COVID-19 Walk-Up Testing Booth developed by Garmat entrepreneur, Johan Huwaert, enables a rapid and effective rollout of testing sites. This solution saves PPE and protects the provider while providing a more efficient way to test masses of individuals.

Current testing methods are flawed when it comes to testing the masses of individuals in the months ahead. For example, in the medical office, when a patient is suspected of having the COVID-19 Virus, the medical provider must have on PPE. Most of these of the cases come back negative – so the PPE is wasted. Testing stations in Colorado provide Drive Through operations, which are unsafe, time-consuming, and not viable for those without access to transportation.

South Korea has been very proactive in testing its citizens for COVID-19, which has led to a lower number of cases and deaths. One hospital in Seoul has set up four walk-up booths outside the hospital for patients to enter for testing. Before the development of these booths, patients were treated in large negative pressure rooms that took a long time to disinfect. The innovation to “individual patient,” walk-up phone booth testing made processing ten times faster, allowing for more patients testing each day. It also reduced the amount of personal protective gear required by healthcare workers to perform the tests. The patient-centered booth in South Korea has one major drawback – it still requires a fulsome disinfection process after each patient.

Brigham & Women’s hospital in Boston designed a 3-sided plexiglass version, an improvement over the S Korea booth, as it  placed the healthcare provider inside, minimizing the surface area and time required for disinfection.  Garmat’s latest innovation advances Brigham’s version to provide additional protection for healthcare workers by fully enclosing the booth and applying positive airflow pressure, forcing contaminants from the interior of the booth.

The size and convenience of these walk-up style testing booths would allow for testing outside hospitals, urgent care centers, pharmacies, airports, universities, and major sporting venues. Garmat has ample production capacity in its Colorado manufacturing facility. Units can be shipped fully assembled on a standard pallet – install is as simple as placing the unit and plugging into a power source.

Garmat USA is America’s leading manufacturer of paint booths serving auto collision repair and industrial refinishing customers. Read more at the Garmat USA website. We are concerned about the spread of this virus and would like to do what we can help keep our families and communities safe. We know stopping the spread is vital, and protection for the provider is paramount.