Jacksonville distillery creating hand sanitizer, donating to medical personnel

A local distillery is doing its part to fight coronavirus by shifting its production to hand sanitizer.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Manifest Distillery in downtown Jacksonville is joining others to produce hand sanitizer for workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The batch is specifically meant to benefit the City of Jacksonville’s testing site at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center

The distillery is collaborating with Telescope Health on this project. By doing this, it allows the local company to keep its workers on the payroll.

“Everything that we’re making now and at least foreseeable future will be prioritized to basically the front line health care workers,” said David Cohen, head distiller at Manifest.

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The company donated 2,000 small bottles of the homemade hand sanitizer to the Prime Osborn testing site on Saturday. The Prime Osborn is one of two COVID-19 testing sites in Jacksonville; the other is located at Lot J outside TIAA Bank Field.

“This is an amazing surplus of supplies to keep the people who work at those tent sites safe,” said Dr. Matthew Thompson with Telehealth.

The Prime Osborn testing site is now free for first responders, medical personnel and those with symptoms as of Friday.

“The tent testing site is going extremely well right now,” Thompson said. “Today [Saturday] we should surpass 1,000 tests.”

Manifest said it plans to continue producing hand sanitizer for as long as its needed.