As the COVID-19 crisis began earlier this year, Kaiser Permanente® was very concerned about the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). Headquartered in Oakland, Calif., Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation's largest not-for-profit health plans, serving 12.4 million members. Kaiser needed to ensure it would be able to meet the increasing needs for PPE at its large network of hospitals and healthcare facilities as the COVID-19 cases increased dramatically.
“Helping find materials for PPE and meeting the needs to protect workers during the crisis was key."
“The projections for the COVID-19 surge were unprecedented. The use of PPE in our facilities was increasing exponentially and the supply availability from traditional sources was limited. We had to figure out how to produce PPE locally. We looked to the Los Angeles garment district manufacturing capacity to leverage their available capacity.”
Kaiser Permanente partnered with local manufacturers, including Lefty Production Co., to produce more than two million fabric face masks and 500,000 isolation gowns to help meet their immediate PPE needs. When doing research on fabric options for gowns, Tyvek® came up as a material to consider based on its barrier performance. Tyvek® fabric has been used as a protective material for PPE for over 40 years and is recognized for its excellent barrier properties. However, DuPont™ Tyvek® garments were in short supply based on the strong demand for the COVID-19 response. Kaiser Permanente reached out to Home Depot to inquire about the availability of Tyvek® HomeWrap® as an isolation gown material.
Upon learning of their need for gown materials, Home Depot contacted DuPont. DuPont was launching the #TyvekTogether program, making rolls of Tyvek® 1222A material available to support the need for increased isolation gown production.
As part of the #TyvekTogether program, DuPont collaborated with Home Depot to donate rolls of Tyvek® 1222A to Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente then called on Lefty Production Co. to produce isolation gowns from the Tyvek® for COVID-19 response efforts. These isolation gowns will support preparedness efforts should supply chains become disrupted again or PPE needs grow rapidly.
Lefty Production Co. had seen a dramatic downturn in business as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Marta Miller, owner and CEO of this small business in L.A., was concerned about being able to continue to employee her team.
“We partnered with Behind the Scenes Apparel and together we all quickly shifted from making garments for 90 different brands to producing face masks and gowns for the COVID-19 response. This allowed us to keep our employees working in a safe environment where we were taking necessary precautions,” explained Miller. “Kaiser Permanente cared about the impact of this pandemic on our small American business. My team loves to sew and we were proud to help transition to sewing these PPE products for the frontline healthcare workers.”
“From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis until the end, DuPont is committed to providing protection for frontline workers,” said John Richard, Vice President & General Manager of DuPont Safety Solutions. “We are proud to partner with Home Depot, a distribution partner of Tyvek® HomeWrap and Tyvek® garments, in the donation of Tyvek® to Kaiser Permanente to support the ongoing and critical needs for PPE.”
DuPont™, the DuPont Oval Logo, and all trademarks and service marks denoted with ™, SM or ® are owned by affiliates of DuPont de Nemours, Inc. unless otherwise noted. Kaiser Permanente® is a registered trademark of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
DuPont collaborates with Home Depot to donate Tyvek® material to Kaiser Permanente for isolation gowns
To meet the growing need for PPE in the fight against COVID-19, we’re increasing capacity of Tyvek® protective fabric and working with our partners to get it to the front lines quickly.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, we're working around the clock to deliver solutions that help with prevention and control, while keeping our employees safe.
Tyvek® for PPE delivers comfortable and durable protective garments that protect against a wide range of chemical threats and hazards.