Body Armor Company Plans COVID-19 Essentials Exchange In Weber County
NORTH OGDEN, Utah —“Lighter, softer and cheaper” may be the way it brands its products, but it’s not a toilet paper producer behind a soon-to-open food and essentials exchange aimed at answering the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Body armor manufacturer Advanced Armor Technology said Monday it planned to use its five acres of land and 7,000-square-foot warehouse at 2067 North Washington Boulevard in North Ogden to open the “Tri-City Exchange” — a space where people and businesses can donate supplies and those in need can obtain them for free.
“We just feel it’s our turn to give back,” said co-owner Mike Larson. “We are emptying the warehouse completely, moving it to other locations to manufacture, and we’re focusing 100% on community support.”
Larson said the Tri-City Exchange — which refers to the communities of North Ogden, Harrisville and Pleasant View — began as a concept less than a week ago and has since received support from local grocers and leaders.
“We’re not a food bank or a pantry, we’re not somebody who collects money,” Larson said. “It’s if you need something to eat or you need toilet paper, come and get it. If you’ve got an extra pack of noodles or a can of soup, drop it off.”
Larson said a local construction company was scheduled to install a driveway and parking lot on Tuesday, and the exchange was expected to open on business on Friday.
He said grocers are contributing trailers that will preserve perishables.
“Everything that comes in goes through a process of sterilization,” Larson said. “We make sure it’s clean and proper and checked before it goes on the shelves for somebody to have it.”
Larsen said the Tri-City Exchange was expected to operate Monday through Friday from 8 to 11 a.m. and from 4 to 8 p.m. It was also expected to have Saturday hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To this point, Larson’s company has built its name on body armor it has supplied to military and police as well as the public.
It also drew headlines in 2018 for a body armor product for teachers.
“We can make it happen,” Larson said. “We’re not the most giant company in the state by any means but we’re okay and other people aren’t, so we’ve decided let’s give back.”
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The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
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- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.
How To Get Help
If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.
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