OWC’s Larry O’Connor on Product and Shipping Safety Amid COVID-19

Aerial Photo of OWC's Warehouse in Woodstock, IL
Aerial Photo of OWC’s Warehouse in Woodstock, IL

Executing social distancing while still meeting basic daily needs has proven very challenging for many. Various new measures have been taken to address a threat that is unprecedented in our lifetime, and their effectiveness is dependent on how well we act upon given guidelines. Even so, many questions are left unanswered.

Work From Home

OWC Founder & CEO, Larrt O'Connor at his desk, working from home
Yours Truly, Working From Home

One of the most significant shifts has been to work from home (WFH) as a measure to reduce the spread of the virus substantially. This has been an unbelievable change, a ‘forced’ experiment, as we try and keep as much of our economy operating as possible. It is incredible how fast so many have made the changes necessary to ensure not only the safety of their own families but also all those that would otherwise be part of regular daily contact. 

With this WFH and nation-wide ‘shelter-in-place,’ the need to purchase items online has never been more apparent. Companies like Amazon, Whole Foods, and local food delivery services have seen an unprecedented increase in orders and demand. This raises a question for many: Should people have to worry about the safety of their deliveries? 

Employee Safety

If you are wondering how safe it is to order from OWC during this time of COVID-19, we have put together some useful information to help assure you that it is.

OWC employee wearing gloves and scanning product

OWC’s employees and customers’ safety has always come first. As it now applies to the COVID-19 threat, I want to share with everyone the detailed efforts OWC has long practiced to ensure the safety of every item shipped from OWC. People have long commented on how you could practically eat off the OWC warehouse floors – cleanliness has always been the standard operating practice at OWC.

While hoping for the best, we had prepared for the worst and were able to enact aggressive protective measures before they became mandated. Even today, team members write and thank me for the COVID-safe environment we maintain, while sadly noting that they know people who work in other places that still don’t have the necessary measures in place. 

COVID-19 has taken us to new levels, with twice-daily employee temperature checks, and shift and space adjustments to enact ‘work contact distancing. We have also implemented additional – twice or more daily – disinfection of all surfaces, gloves, and masks being used by our warehouse and build teams. Our build teams have always worn gloves to prevent fingerprinting units. Those gloves have whole new importance now. 

OWC has long had MERV air filters in place as well as a UV air purifier. Both of these combined are 99.999% effective in killing/capturing all airborne bacteria and viruses. Being a manufacturer of electronic solutions, we have always taken cleanliness seriously. It took minimal effort for OWC to step up further in response to COVID-19, and we did so well before any new safety measures became required.

Product Safety

Inside OWC’s Warehouse in Woodstock, IL

You can rest assured the contents of any package from OWC will not leave contaminated. Brian Labus, assistant professor at the School of Public Health at UNLV, shares further insight:

“By the time products reach your store shelves, it has usually been a few weeks since they were manufactured. The virus might be able to survive a few days given the right environment, but it will be long dead by the time you purchase that product. Even if something you order online is shipped to you the next day, it has been sitting in a warehouse somewhere long enough for the virus to die.”

Once your package leaves OWC’s warehouse, it will go through numerous stops, places, and hands to get to you. We can turn to the experts to share the pertinent knowledge they have been voicing in real-time about the safety of accepting items ordered online.

“The CDC has advised there is a low risk of transmission on packages,” explains Matthew O’Connor, a spokesman for UPS. “The risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”

A group of researchers from the National Institutes of Health, the CDC, Princeton University and UCLA, misted virus particles into a rotating drum and studied how long the floating particles survived on various surfaces. They found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus survived for up to 24 hours on cardboard, three times longer than its cousin, the original SARS. The New England Journal of Medicine confirmed this finding in a published peer-reviewed journal paper.

How those in our supply chains are handling deliveries is also essential. They are on the front lines, and I have observed the use of gloves by most delivery people, and their safety is best ensured merely by letting them keep their distance from each of us. As we are social creatures in general, I understand that not shaking hands and engaging in natural behavior is one of the most challenging aspects of the ‘current normal.’ Especially right now, when anyone stopping by would be a longed-for interaction.

OWC & You

OWC employees Staying Safe with Facemasks and Gloves

What we would like you to know is that all of us at OWC genuinely care about your health and wellbeing and are here to help you day and night with all of your computer, technical, and work needs. 

All of us are in this together, and we have a great appreciation for everyone showing up each day, keeping the world moving with everything that can’t be done from home. We are happy to have incredible factory partners around the world who share the same safety measure practices as OWC. They also continue to keep the supply chains flowing with the goods that enable us to support people’s technology needs – which seem only more present since COVID-19.

From Mexico to Asia to our OWC team manufacturing right in Woodstock, IL, the world is keeping needed supplies moving. Even as the USA begins taking steps towards a return to normalcy, the protections we have in place today – for you and our team – are going to remain our standard for the foreseeable future.

We are in this together and will beat it together.

— Larry O’Connor, OWC Founder & CEO



LEAVE A COMMENT


  • Larry O’Connor —

    Thank your for taking the time to inform us of your practices, and the safety of your employees and products. You confirmed what I already believed (or wanted to believe).

    OWC has been an extremely valuable partner to me in my good times and my most challenging times. I’m just coming off of two decades of intense family caregiving and advocacy. A mysterious personal illness (caused by an Rx med) then followed. The issue took years to unravel but I’m on the right track. It’s so sad to see COVID-19 tragically affect so many people – and so quickly. The lack of human contact is an added tragedy unto itself.

    As I get better, I not only cherish each successive day on this planet, I more acutely notice the people, companies, and organizations who sincerely help others on their journeys. Your staff has been fabulous. OWC has fostered a true culture of helpfulness — and/or you’ve hired well.

    I truly hope you and your wonderful staff stay well.

    Gratefully,
    — Connie