Taiga Environmental Laboratory (Taiga Lab) is stepping up to support the response to COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories by producing hand sanitizer for Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) workers that interact with the public.
Frontline workers at airports and enforcement checkpoints, as well as wildlife officers and healthcare workers are at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are proven to help reduce the spread of the virus.
As in the rest of Canada and world, hand sanitizer is in short supply in the Northwest Territories due to increased demand during this health crisis.
The GNWT has a responsibility to protect its frontline workers that are providing essential services to northerners during this public health emergency. By providing our workers with a reliable supply of hand sanitizer, we can help ensure their safety without depleting the publicly-available (commercial) supply of this critical product.
“I am incredibly grateful to all our frontline workers, including our officers, airport staff and healthcare workers, for the important work they are doing during this health crisis. Our experts at Taiga Lab are happy to be able to support them by providing a reliable supply of hand sanitizer to help keep their hands clean and reduce the spread of COVID-19. We are all in this together, and we all have a role to play in protecting our families, our elders and our communities.”-Shane Thompson, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources
“In our response to the COVID-19 crisis, we need to use every source at our disposal to make sure our territory is ready to meet the moment. Our frontline staff can now rest a little easier knowing one of the most essential goods in their workplaces is free from the whims of the global supply chain thanks to Taiga Labs. We salute Taiga Labs for their work in making gel hand sanitizer for clinical use. We are also grateful to 62 Degrees North in stepping up to provide hand sanitizer for general use, which is critically important for essential retailers, childcare providers and residents to protect the NWT against the spread of COVID-19.”Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services
- Taiga Lab is part of the GNWT Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It is the only full-service environmental analytical laboratory north of 60.
- The lab has state-of-the-art lab equipment, a complete lab facility, lab technicians, quality control and quality assurance personnel, as well as a chemist on staff.
- Taiga Lab received authorization from the Chief Public Health Officer to produce hand sanitizer, as well as a site licence and a product licence from Health Canada.
- The lab is able to produce up to 300 litres of hand sanitizer a day, if required.
- Sourcing the ingredients to produce hand sanitizer, as well as pump bottles to dispense the sanitizer, has been challenging due to worldwide shortages.
- So far, Taiga Lab has produced more than 1,700 litres of hand sanitizer for GNWT frontline workers.
Government of the Northwest Territories
- IMAGE 1: Angela Fiadjoe, Laboratory Technologist, filling bottles
- IMAGE 2: Bottle Front
- IMAGE 3: Marjorie Padunan-Manuel, Laboratory Technologist, labelling bottles
- IMAGE 4: Brad Koswan, Acting Manager of Taiga Lab, making sanitizer
- IMAGE 5: Bottle Back