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An air-flow analysis of Zogic's warehouse in Lee. The company is using air-purification fans to create a safer environment for employees.

Zogics Using COVID-19 Fighting Fans To Keep Staff Healthy

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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LEE, Mass. — Zogics is installing COVID-19-killing air purifications fans in its Lee warehouse and company gym to keep employees safe and healthy. 

The company which provides cleaning and sanitation supplies for facilities, has also teamed up with the manufacturer, Big Ass Fans, to be able to offer the disinfecting fans to customers.

The fans use UV-C and ionization technology to dramatically reduce the transmission risk of a variety of pathogens including SARS-CoV-2. CEO Paul LeBlanc believes that this is the first deployment of this technology in the Berkshires.

This system is said to kill 99.99 percent of pathogens.

Based on an airflow study, Big Ass Fans says it reduces the 44 percent chance of transmitting COVID-19 in Zogic's gym to a remarkable 2 percent. With added safety protocols such as sanitizing, social distancing, and mask-wearing, the chance is even less.

"We've been fans of Big Ass Fans for more than a decade," LeBlanc said. "They're a highly respected company with great name recognition and we're a leader in facility health and safety so when Big Ass Fans came up with their clean air technology we got really excited."

To evaluate the impact of the fans, a custom 3D airflow analysis of a space is conducted so Zogic's team of airflow experts can show exactly how the product will transform air quality and safety. The team can then make recommendations for optimal equipment selection and placement. This work can be performed either remotely or in-person and this technology is being offered locally and nationwide.

Zogics temporarily closed its office on March 17, 2020, because of the novel coronavirus and staff has been working from home since. LeBlanc said this was not done for the good of the business but for the safety of employees. Those who work in Zogic's warehouse in Lee are essential workers and don't have the option of working from home. LeBlanc described them as the company's heroes.

"The more we learned about the technology, the more I realized that this was something we should put in our own facilities," LeBlanc said in regards to the air sanitizing fans. "The ability for us to be able to dramatically reduce the chance of transmission whether it's COVID-19 or any other number of potential risks is really significant and really it's my job to keep my employees safe."

As soon as LeBlanc became aware of this technology and saw the data and reception from customers, it was an easy choice to install the fans in Zogic's warehouse distribution facility and company gym, he said.

The company benefits from these fans because most importantly, they are keeping staff healthy, but they are also increasing the ability for operations to keep going at a normal pace.


LeBlanc said the cost of interrupting distribution for just one day exceeds the cost of the fans.

With the steady flow of operations, employees' jobs and financial well-being are also safe.

Zogic's on-site gym has been off-limit to employees since March but will be in use once the fans are installed.  This is a huge benefit to employees because it is difficult for people to feel safe at other facilities that don't have these types of safety measures.

LeBlanc said the air purifying fans are a perfect addition to Zogic's lineup, as it creates a comprehensive series of recommendations that it can provide to facilities, and themselves, to ensure that they are able to operate as safely as possible.

"Combined with our surface disinfecting products, our hand hygiene products, and our personal protection equipment, air disinfection essentially completes the loop," he said.

Because of the pandemic, businesses are seeing a pivot from being concerned about how often they can open and how much money they can make to a concern for making the environment as safe as possible for employees and customers.

COVID-19 is severe enough where you want to throw everything at it, LeBlanc said, it's all part of a comprehensive protocol to do everything in reason to keep those around you safe and healthy.

Even before the Big Ass Fans, Zogics had pandemic protocols in place at the warehouse to mitigate transmission of the virus. There are Zogics hand sanitizers throughout the facility along with various disinfecting sprays used on a regular basis, the requiring of masks and social distancing. Now, LeBlanc can rest assured that his employees will be even safer.

"It's very exciting, these are products that we are now installing nationwide," he said. "And it's a great addition to what we do."


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Berkshires Gets Limited Vaccine Doses; Named 'High-Efficiency Collaborative'

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — COVID-19 vaccine shipments expected early last week were delayed because of inclement weather and were smaller than expected, leaving Berkshire County shorthanded. And a "very limited" amount of vaccines was available for appointment first-dose slots on Wednesday.  
 
"This week, Massachusetts received 139,000 doses," Mayor Linda Tyer said to the City Council on Tuesday. "That's it, we have a million potential new residents who are eligible, but for the week we received 139,000 doses."
 
Public Health Program Manager Laura Kittross said there is limited access everywhere and doesn't expect this to be an ongoing issue.  She hopes to see additional vaccine allocations later this week and is "certainly hopeful for next week."
 
On Thursday, there were very limited first-dose clinic at Berkshire Community College from 2 to 5 with 300 appointments available to eligible individuals. The North Adams and Great Barrington vaccination sites will also hold first-dose clinics on Thursday, offering 250 doses each. All of those were gone by late afternoon on Wednesday.
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