With CERN operating in safe-mode, the Organization has turned its chemical laboratories and mechanical workshops to the task of producing protective equipment to support local efforts to combat COVID-19. Over the last few days, CERN has delivered sanitizer gel, protective panels, and face shields to various front-line actors in the local area.
So far, CERN has produced some 1200 litres of sanitizer gel using World Health Organization’s recommended recipe. This will be used to supply CERN’s own needs, as well as supplementing local distribution. On 8 April, CERN delivered 1000 litres to the Sub-Prefecture in the Pays de Gex. Another 2400 litres is planned to be produced over the coming week. A significant fraction of this will be distributed to medical structures in the Host States; the rest will be kept at CERN to ensure availability when normal activity progressively resumes at the Laboratory. Additional production of sanitizer gel at CERN is possible in the second half of April and May according to needs in the local area.
Another way CERN is helping neighbouring communities is by making protective Perspex panels for the local police stations. This enables the police service to continue their operations, whilst protecting both personnel and people visiting the premises. Three protective panes have been delivered to police stations in the Pays de Gex, and similar panels have also been installed in CERN’s on-site hotels in preparation for a progressive return to normality over the coming months.
Following a request from a hospital in Annecy, CERN technicians have produced face shields for medical personnel. Fifty of these have so far been delivered, on an ad-hoc basis to meet an urgent need. Further production is ongoing.
Looking further ahead, investigations are being made to scale up production of such equipment in industry, and designs are being studied for bio-filtering face masks for medical professionals.