Businesses try on new hats to meet emerging needs of pandemic

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 7:49 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 24, 2020 at 7:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - At Honolulu Church of God on Tuesday, exterminators from Pest Tech Hawaii weren’t looking for roaches or rodents. They were disinfecting surfaces.

"We use foggers, sprayers and rags. We use a disinfectant that the EPA and the CDC recognizes as a virucide for COVID-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19," owner Ian Mateo said.

Since COVID entered the conversation, the company has been sanitizing commercial businesses, homes and churches.

Honolulu Church of God wanted disinfecting done while parishioners are being kept away.

"Today we're going to have the offices cleaned, our prayer room, our whole sanctuary back into our kitchen and the bathrooms. Everything is going to be sanitized in here," Pastor Evan Palmer said.

Mateo wanted to help in the battle against the pandemic. He realized his equipment could also be used to spread disinfectants.

"In about 24 hours we re-shaped an entire division and we started offering our service," he said.

In Kalihi, Min Plastics is also doing something different. The plastic sheets supplier stepped outside its normal operations to cut and assemble face shields for healthcare workers.

"So far we've made 1,000. Those are all accounted for. Those went out this morning. I think a couple hundred are waiting to be picked up," general manager Andrew Min said.

The company donated the reusable shields to hospitals for workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight.

“Some went to Straub, some went to Queen’s, Wahiawa General Hospital, Hawaii Life Flight, Hilo Hospital,” Min said.

He encourages other businesses to think outside the box to find ways to help out.

"It takes a little bit of thinking and a little bit of ingenuity. Anybody can do this. Not just us," he said.

Pest Tech Hawaii offers free estimates for its disinfecting treatments.

Matteo said since he started advertising the service he's gotten calls, many from homeowners.

“We don’t want people to be afraid of price,” he said. “If you need this service we’ll work with you to try and figure out something that works for you.”

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