Riegel Linen Pivoting from Hospitality to Healthcare Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic
AIKEN, S.C. - To do its part amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Riegel Linen is now manufacturing masks in addition to surgical towels, sheeting and mattress pads for existing and new customers. Known nationwide for its quality sheeting, terry, and table linen products for hotels and restaurants, the hospitality textile manufacturer is also helping the local community.
As part of its new "Hospitality Strong" initiative, Riegel Linen CEO Bill Josey gifted 75 washable cloth face masks to international students at the University of South Carolina Aiken (part of the University of South Carolina System) who are unable to return home due to the quarantine. An additional 45 masks were donated to the UofSC Aiken Police Department serving the campus community.
"On behalf of the University of South Carolina - Aiken, we are extremely grateful to Riegel Linen for thinking of us and for partnering with us in this very unique way," said Dr. Sandra Jordan, Chancellor, UofSC Aiken. "This is a troubling time, and this gift of masks made by Riegel Linen is being given to our students still living on the campus and to our police officers."
"Masks are quite hard to come by in Aiken, so this gift is timely and needed to help keep members of our community safe and healthy during this unprecedented pandemic," she said. "This kind and important gift not only represents the compassionate community spirit of Riegel Linen but also echoes the spirit of the University of South Carolina Aiken and reminds us all how important it is to recognize that we are all in this together. Thank you, Riegel."
The Economic Development Partnership of Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick, and Saluda counties was instrumental in bringing the UofSC Aiken and Riegel Linen together.
"In mid-March, as COVID-19 restrictions began, our organization pivoted its focus," said Will Williams, President and CEO of the Economic Partnership. "That focus went to assisting the manufacturers in our four-county region with remaining open. We reached out to see if any could transition their manufacturing process to producing critically needed Personal Protective Equipment. Riegel Linen was the first to step forward and say they would shift to producing masks. Days later we learned that the UofSC Aiken Police Department needed that very item. While the campus was closed, a small number of international students remained in the dorms. These officers were having to periodically check on these students and doing it without proper PPE. We reached out to Riegel Linen and they graciously agreed to provide masks to not only the UofSC Aiken Police Department but also the remaining students."
"We are extremely grateful to the leadership and employees of Riegel Linen for answering the call to provide these items," Williams said. "We appreciate the jobs they have in our region and that they call this part of South Carolina home."
Healthcare products manufactured today by Riegel Linen in McCormick, S.C., include two-piece and four-piece washable cloth face masks (designed for barrier protection only), 100% cotton surgical towels, mattress pads, and sheeting for hospital beds.
"Riegel Linen is proud to be assisting the local community and the healthcare industry with these critical personal protection supplies," said Wyatt "Tim" Shirley, Riegel Linen Director of Manufacturing. "Not only does this transition enable us to keep our valued employees working, but we are providing a great service to both hospitals and hotels. Today tens of thousands of hotels have offered their facilities to the medical community to house patients or host healthcare workers and their families. Riegel Linen is well positioned to equip anyone needing masks and other textile medical products with these items quickly and cost effectively. Only by working together will we remain #HospitalityStrong."