The whole world is holding its breath. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, more than 600,000 patients have been tested positive and more than 30,000 have died across 203 countries, according to the WHO (World Health Organization). Sierra Circuits remains open to provide PCBs used in COVID-19 medical devices.
From East to West, governments issue isolation orders and place their nations in lockdown. The Bay area was no exception. Since the implementation of the shelter-in-place on Monday, March 16, 2020, companies must introduce work from home unless they provide “essential” services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, police and fire stations, and, of course, health care providers.
As we have witnessed the shutdown of many factories and other businesses in a worldwide effort to stop the coronavirus pandemic, why and how does Sierra Circuits keep the doors of its Silicon Valley facilities open? Our customers Lockheed Martin, a government defense contractor, and Beckman Coulter, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, have both written official letters identifying Sierra Circuits’ business operations as crucial and essential to their efforts to ensure the safety of all in this country.
‘‘Our manufacture and assembly continue to remain operational while our teams adopt the various government guidance and travel restrictions. Let me assure you that our top priority has been and remains the health and safety of our customers and associates.’’
Amit Bahl, Director of Sales & Marketing
Sierra Circuits is taking precautions to help reduce risk and limit the spread. We have taken proactive steps to protect our associates and customers, as well as the communities where we live and work. We have a team dedicated to our response during this challenging time and we have hired a cleaning crew to continuously clean and disinfect the facilities. We are also taking guidance from the Center of Disease Control, World Health Organization, and Sunnyvale’s local government.
Building PCBs Used to Diagnose COVID-19
Recently, one of our customers, Cepheid, Inc., made the headlines across the world. The Sunnyvale-based company won an emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use a test it developed that can detect the COVID-19 in just 45 minutes. So far, getting the results can take a few days. SAR-CoV-2 Xpert Xpress is the name of the company’s test, which can be run on one of their own machines called GeneXpert. The particularity of SAR-CoV-2 Xpert Xpress is that it can be conducted on site and doesn’t necessitate sending any samples to an outside lab.
In less than one hour, health care workers would be able to determine whether or not a patient is showing symptoms of the SAR-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19. In a video shared on YouTube, Cepheid explained that it begins with a technician collecting a sample from a patient and then mixing it in a tube. Using a pipette included in the package, the sample is transferred into a Cepheid cartridge which already includes the testing reagents. The technician can now close the lid and place the cartridge into a GeneXpert system. Up to 80 cartridges can be run simultaneously on these machines that can be operated 24/7.
We remain open to provide medical equipment PCBs to companies like Cepheid and other prototypes to the military industry and will continue to do so as they fight on the front lines to defeat the coronavirus and keep the country safe.
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