GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s some of the most important work going on in the battle against COVID-19, but instead of a hospital, it’s happening in a massive laundry facility in Grand Prairie.
North Texas Health Care Laundry is the largest medical laundry facility in the state and the fifth largest in the U.S.
General Manager Alan Bonds gave CBS 11 exclusive access to the important work going on there to keep health care workers safe.
“We wash it, we dry it, we fold it, we count it, we weight it and inspect it,” said Bonds.
The 100,000 square foot facility in Grand Prairie is a co-op owned by some of the largest hospitals in the region.
Alan Bonds says his workers clean 1,000,000 scrubs, gowns, masks, blankets, and sheets each week.
Then they are sent back to health care workers on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19.
“The disposable market has been ravaged by unprecedented demand, so now the hospitals are looking for a reusable to supplement their disposal that’s what we’re doing,” said Bonds.
Three-hundred workers there wear protective gear to further reduce the remote risk, managers say, of being infected from the soiled uniforms and linens.
Everything that comes in is placed on a ramp and carried untouched into laundry machines that are far from what you’d find in a home.
That’s when we use a number of detergents, alkaloids, bleaches, etc.,” said Bonds.
After they are sorted and folded by machines, samples are sent to a lab to make sure no contaminants slip through.
Less than six hours after the worn medical uniforms and linens come in, they are considered hygienically clean and sent back to nearly 500 area hospitals and clinics.
Bonds says hospitals, now more than ever, depend on personal protective equipment or PPE they can reuse.
He adds most medical uniforms can be cleaned 40 to 75 times before they are discarded, which makes this operation so vital during a time when PPE is In short supply.