Forward Science, a Stafford-based medical technology company, recently created the first batch of hand sanitizer it plans to provide to hospitals in the Houston region during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Operating out of 10401 Greenbough Dr., Suite 100 in Stafford, Forward Science typically manufactures medical and pharmaceutical products geared toward dental science. However, the company said it decided to begin manufacturing the hand sanitizer to meet demand at Houston-area hospitals coping with the outbreak of the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, frequent hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If soap and water are unavailable, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol. Forward Science’s is 75 percent alcohol, according to the company’s website.
“When we heard that there was a shortage of hand sanitizer across the nation, we knew we needed to step up and help,” Forward Science President Brian Pikkula said in a news release. “Not just Texans, but the world, counts on our city to provide elite medical care. We quickly paused manufacturing on our typical products and focused heavily on meeting this need.”
As of Monday evening, there were 138 reported cases of COVID-19 and two related deaths in Fort Bend County, according to health officials. There were 309 cases and three deaths in the City of Houston and an additional 254 cases and two deaths in Harris County.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 697,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 in 203 different countries. More than 122,000 cases have been identified in the U.S. The disease has led to more than 33,000 deaths globally and more than 2,100 in the U.S.
“This is an uncertain time for everyone — hospitals are in desperate need of materials and small businesses are searching for ways to keep business open and their staff members employed,” Forward Science CEO Robert Whitman said. “…We’ve always valued the support of our community in Houston, and Texas as a whole has provided us. This is our chance to return the favor to them.”