PPE instead of coins is the new normal now. The Royal Canadian Mint is switching from making loonies and toonies to making hand sanitizer for healthcare workers battling COVID-19. The Mint's Ottawa location is also making personal protective equipment.

As other companies retool operations to help fight the virus, the Royal Canadian Mint is also getting in on the action by switching up operations.

In Winnipeg, sanitizer will start being made over the weekend according to the CBC.

In Ottawa, that and protective gear like face shields have already started production.

With the facility in Manitoba, there isn't the capacity to manufacture gear but they already have a major ingredient for sanitizer, isopropyl alcohol.

In an Instagram post, the Mint shared photos of the hand sanitizer making process and the face shields that have been produced at its Ottawa location.

"Since the middle of March, we've put our numismatic coin operations on pause and freed up a lot of production capacity to help fight COVID-19," the coin producer said in the caption.

Over the next month, more than 1,000 litres of hand sanitizer from that location and hundreds of face shields will be donated to The Ottawa Hospital.

The sanitizer made in Winnipeg is expected to be distributed within the local healthcare system.

A Mint spokesperson told the CBC that the Ottawa location has a department where gold and silver collectible coins are made which was repurposed to make protective gear.

With isopropyl alcohol already on hand at the Winnipeg location, glycerol and hydrogen peroxide had to be purchased in order to make the sanitizer.

About 1,100 people work at both facilities.

Along with the Mint, other companies in Canada are working to make products needed by healthcare workers across the country as they deal with COVID-19.

Bauer is making face shields instead of hockey gear for medical professionals and a hockey team in Ontario is using skate laces to make masks for frontline workers.

Canada Goose has shifted operations to produce scrubs and gowns for hospitals.

A textile company in B.C. is using its factory floor that used to make pet beds to now make surgical masks and hopes to be the first company in Canada to make N95 respirators. 

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