US textile and nonwoven associations are urging federal, state and local governments to deem these manufacturing facilities as “essential” to ensure workers are exempted from orders to stay at home during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Shelter in Place” orders – essentially quarantine orders – are being imposed among measures by cities, states and the federal government to try to tackle the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
But the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) and the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) say their members make items that are vital to the US government’s effort to ramp up emergency production of critical supplies.
This includes a broad range of inputs and finished products used in personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical nonwoven/textile supplies, including surgical gowns, face masks, antibacterial wipes, lab coats, blood pressure cuffs, cotton swabs and hazmat suits.
“If workers who produce these goods are not granted an “essential” exemption from “Shelter in Place” and other quarantine orders to go to their manufacturing and distribution facilities, it will cause major disruptions in the availability of these goods,” they say.
“This will create significant hardship to healthcare providers and consumers across the country who depend on steady and stable supplies of these critical items.
“We are asking the administration and state and local authorities to provide greater certainty and clarity for our companies and employees and ask for a clear exclusion of our manufacturing operations from “Shelter in Place” orders as the textile and nonwoven products that we make in the US play an essential role in mitigating the shortages of critical supplies.
“Such a designation will help us avoid disruptions of vital goods and services during this challenging time.”