Tangipahoa Parish company moves from oil to making hand sanitizer

Updated: Apr. 6, 2020 at 10:01 PM CDT
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ROSELAND, La. (WVUE) - Coronavirus cases rose by 13 Monday in Tangipahoa parish and stand at 186. Parish officials continue to order residents to stay at home, as a company north of Amite steps up To help deal with the threat.

For 50 years Smitty’s Supply in Roseland has produced a variety of motor oils, and anti freezes, but re-assessed three weeks ago when coronavirus hit.

“With our ability to sell liquids we said we got to do something to help so let’s make hand sanitizer for out customers,” said Smitty’s chief operating officer Bryan Boudreaux.

The company can also manufacture plastic bottles and within 72 hours they were producing containers filled with badly needed sanitizing liquid.

“We have already shipped out several truckloads of product,” said Boudreaux.

With 409 employees, Smitty’s is one of the largest companies in Tangipahoa Parish where officials are struggling to keep coronavirus numbers down.

“At this point we want to people to power on and not let up,” said Tangipahoa parish president Robbie Miller.

The latest numbers show there have been 186 coronavirus cases in Tangipahoa Parish with two deaths.

Miller believes his coronavirus numbers may have peaked over the weekend, but he says we’re still in the thick of a fight and it’s not time to retreat from taking precautions.

“Stay at home and stop the spread,” said Miller.

Miller has ordered some of Smitty’s hand sanitizing products to keep his employees safe.

“We have some for our emergency management department in North Oaks is involved,” said Miller.

Smitty’s also has a new product in the works.

“This disinfectany will kill coronavirus...we’re waiting on the government to approve that product,” said Boudreaux.

And as the company prepares to ship more sanitizer across the south they are proud to play a role in keeping citizens safe.

Right now Smitty’s hand sanitizer is in a liquid form. They are trying to produce a gel but say they have to wait for FDA approval of the thickening agent needed to do that.

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