Papermakers and converting operations throughout Wisconsin continue to do their part to assist in the fight against this deadly pandemic. Papermakers and converters throughout the state are working diligently to produce and often donate critical medical and personal hygiene products for Wisconsinites during this time of international crisis. Numerous companies have increased production of critical components for personal protection equipment or PPE including surgical masks, medical swabs, N95 masks, face shields and many other products essential to keep first responders and their patients safe and healthy.

In the midst of this crisis, many of our papermakers are also stepping up to help vulnerable families and communities in their time of need.

Throughout Wisconsin and across the nation, papermakers have donated muchneeded supplies of medical and personalhygiene products to medical facilities, food pantries, homeless shelters, at-risk children and to our brave military men and women who have been called up to fight this deadly disease.

Many of these converted products are in high demand and are medical necessities. In addition, Wisconsin is home to the leading manufacturers in terms of numbers of companies and variety of wet wipes for antibacterial, sanitizing and cleansing usage. Ranging from Top Brass Inc., to Rockline Industries, KleenTest and more than a dozen other manufacturers, papermakers and converters are answering the call for these important products.

In addition, companies such as The Boldt Company (a major construction supplier for many paper mills) has retooled their operations in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To assist in medical surges across the United States, Boldt is building mobile intensive care units called STAAT.

In the midst of this crisis, many of our papermakers are also stepping up to help vulnerable families and communities in their time of need.

STAAT stands for Strategic, Temporary, Acuity-Adaptable Treatment Mods. STAAT units address the safety of patients and healthcare workers affected by COVD-19.

This modular product is the only quick-ship prefabricated solution that delivers true Airborne Infection Isolation rooms, as recommended by the CDC for infectious patients undergoing aerosolgenerating procedures.

Boldt has sped up the creation and production of STAAT units and is shipping them to areas of the country that are in need of intensive care for coronavirus patients.

Another example of papermaking generosity is ND Paper’s donation of 1,500 Tyvek suits and 20,000 surgical masks to the State of Wisconsin for distribution to healthcare providers.

Additionally, Little Rapids Corp. paper mill has a medical division (Graham Medical Division in Green Bay) that is working around the clock to expand its manufacturing of facemask and PPE capabilities.

These are just a few examples of the innovation, dedication and generosity of the papermaking industry and its supply chain occurring throughout this pandemic. As the No. 1 paper-product producer in the nation, Wisconsin is truly stepping up to meet not only the medical and consumer demand for essential products, but also giving back to our communities in numerous ways.

If you are able to donate PPE equipment to assist in this fight, the state has set up a donation portal.

You can go to https://covid19supplies .wi.gov/Donations to either donate or sell large quantities of PPE to the State of Wisconsin.

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) will then work to distribute the PPE to communities that need it the most. If organizations or businesses have quantities of fewer than 50 of any of these items, they are encouraged to donate them to local health organizations instead of going through the buyback website.

The papermaking industry knows that we are all in this together.

We want to thank all of the brave, dedicated employees in our industry who are working around the clock to ensure that Wisconsin has the essential medical and consumer products it needs to keep our families safe and healthy.

Scott Suder is president of the Wisconsin Paper Council.