As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to result in more positive cases and hamper the U.S. economy, we at IBVI are doing our best to implement new safety protocols and practices per CDC guidelines. Ultimately, we want to keep our Base Supply Centers (BSCs) across the country as well as our headquarters in Wisconsin—where the majority of our workforce lives and resides—as safe as possible.
As an “essential operation” and part of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), we have remained open for business throughout the pandemic and continue to provide products and services to our federal customers across the United States. So far, six employees have reported testing positive for Coronavirus. Fortunately, each case was fairly isolated—per CDC guidelines, any employees that may have been exposed to the positive individuals also quarantined at home for fourteen days. Since, all six employees have fully recovered and no additional positive cases have been reported.
At the start of the pandemic, Wisconsin maintained a fairly low number of positive test cases while other states—like Florida, Texas, California, and New York—remained hot spots with higher positivity rates.
However, during the last week of June and first week of July, Wisconsin was reported to have the fastest rate of coronavirus transmission in the country. The high-water mark came on Tuesday, July 21 when Wisconsin confirmed 1,117 positive coronavirus cases. Until then, we had never reported more than 1,000 new positive cases in a 24-hour period. The next day (July 22), the number of new positive cases dropped to 712 but increased again to 1,052 on July 23. As the pandemic progresses, we will continue to monitor positive case reports week-by-week and follow all local COVID-19 restrictions and requirements as we become aware of them to ensure the highest level of safety for all of our employees.
As a member of the DIB, IBVI has a special responsibility to maintain our normal work schedules—this exception applies to personnel working for companies, and their subcontractors, who perform under contract to the Department of Defense.
However, we still are doing everything we can to keep our employees safe, including:
- Ensuring all on-site employees are adequately spaced apart per CDC guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19
- Ensuring all on-site facilities are appropriately sanitized following CDC guidelines
- Having employees work remotely if they are able to complete their job requirements from home
- Requiring employees to self-quarantine at home and follow other CDC guidelines
- Shutting down work areas or entire facilities if an employee tests positive, per CDC guidelines
The U.S. AbilityOne Commission, National Industries for the Blind, and our U.S. military and federal government customer base have asked us to stay operational in support of their missions. In response, we have continued to produce mission critical kits and other products while our distribution centers fulfill and deliver mission critical orders for our customers nationwide.
We will continue to send new updates and any changes to operations as they occur.