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Rapid relief: Guardtech’s ISOPODs can ease Covid testing burdens

Guardtech Cleanrooms are ready to play a leading role to help solve another major Covid-19 stumbling block with their quick-assembly ISOPOD modular cleanrooms.

A recent report from the BBC’s Panorama team discovered shocking contamination risks at a Covid testing lab in Milton Keynes, with staff under pressure to hit mounting Test and Trace targets.

The BBC’s secret filming suggested that operatives cut corners, rushed sample checks and implemented sub-standard practices, meaning people who used the NHS Test and Trace service may have received no result or, worse still, a wrong result.

The UK’s laboratory space shortage crisis first hit national headlines in November, leading firms such as cleanroom design and build (D&B) company Guardtech Cleanrooms to provide innovative solutions like their CleanCube portable labs in shipping containers, Luton Box Vans and portable cabins.

And Guardtech is ready to step in again and offer its support to the beleaguered Test and Trace labs with its range of ISOPOD quick-assembly modular cleanrooms.

ISOPODs are high-performance controlled environments that can be self-assembled and are fully customisable to best utilise the host room they are installed within, meaning a new Test and Trace lab space could be set up quickly and efficiently in any suitable space that the users have available.

This means that the government could effectively ‘spread the load’ of the testing burden across the UK by not having to rely solely on a select few laboratories with the capabilities to carry out the work.

Guardtech director Ray Wheeler, who heads up the Haverhill construction firm alongside operations director Conor Barwise and commercial director Mark Wheeler, is calling on laboratory managers up and down the country to get in touch with his company immediately.

“The recent BBC Panorama investigation revealed some worrying insights into the way one particular lab was operating,” he said, “but this is a difficult time for everyone and we feel sympathy for these technicians due to demands being placed on them.

“We simply shouldn’t have to place such a huge burden on a small number of labs to carry out such a great deal of Test and Trace activity when there are options like the ISOPOD available.

“Our product allows any user to essentially ‘pop up’ a cleanroom wherever they need it, immediately, effectively and efficiently. I hope our message gets out there and we can do our bit to help ease the UK’s testing burden.”

Combining high-quality construction materials with state-of-the-art cleanroom technology, ISOPODs are the perfect solution to upgrade production environments, R&D applications, education or healthcare facilities in a sustainable, practical and cost-effective way.

They can be reconfigured, relocated, extended and upgraded and are shipped worldwide ready for quick and simple self-assembly, supported by full installation instructions or, alternatively, installed quickly by Guardtech’s experienced engineers.

They’re available as hardwall, softwall or hybrid cleanrooms, can include changing rooms and materials interlock module, can be static or mobile on casters and are energy efficient, as the user only controls the area that requires it.

They can also be branded in corporate colours, with logos and graphics, feature removable panels for equipment transfer and can support glazing in any hardwall configuration.

And with an ever-increasing number of their CleanCube portable cleanrooms offering Covid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing all over the world, Guardtech commercial director Mark Wheeler is hopeful that ISOPOD can prove to be equally critical.

“We’ve been blown away with the success of our CleanCube mobile cleanroom solutions,” he said. “To have been able to support the national effort against Covid with our mobile PCR testing units has been incredible. But we now have another amazing opportunity to make a big impact in another crisis area: Test and Trace demands.

“Our ISOPOD quick-assembly cleanrooms give clients flexibility like no other controlled environment. If you need a lab environment immediately and don’t have the time to wait for a build to be completed, this is the solution. If your space or budget is compromised, this could be the answer.”

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