‘It’s a people in trouble and we have the ability to help’: Ogden distillery donates 485 gallons of hand sanitizer to Navajo Nation

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OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Utah liquor manufacturer is now making hand sanitizer and is donating some of its product to the Navajo Nation – where COVID-19 cases are high.

“We figure you need about a quarter of an ounce maybe per hand treatment. It’s about 240,000 hand washes in a population that doesn’t have running water. That can make a big difference,” said Steve Conlin, the president of Ogden’s Own Distillery.

RELATED: New sanitizers coming from Utah’s distilleries

Conlin said the distillery donated 485 gallons to the Navajo Nation in an effort to help those in need.

“I don’t have an affinity with the Navajo Nation or any special connection to the Navajo Nation or anything, other than it’s a people in trouble and we have the ability to help,” Conlin said.

With more than 4,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 153 deaths – as of Saturday – according to the Navajo Department of Health, the nation’s president said the area has the most infections per capita in the country. And distillery president Steve Conlin said the company’s hand sanitizer is going to those who need it most. 

RELATED: Farmers Feeding Utah delivers lamb meat and flour to the Navajo Nation

“To folks who don’t have running water, those who don’t have running water, people who are in quarantine, elderly,” Conlin said.

Driving to drop off the nearly 500 gallons of hand sanitizer, Conlin said driving through the Navajo Nation is unlike anything he’s seen –from the hospital to everyday life.

RELATED: Utah woman collecting donations for Navajo Nation

“People lingering in the parking lot cause I’m sure they have loved ones inside and then there’s drive up coronavirus testing on the side of the building,” Conlin said. “Down there they’re under a curfew. They are people off the street from seven to seven there are signs everywhere.”

With countless lives lost due to the respiratory virus, Conlin said he plans to continue helping the Navajo Nation as they work to contain the number of cases.

“I’ll tell you what – we’ll just keep making hand sanitizer as long as it’s needed,” Conlin said.

Hand sanitizer donations can be made to help the Navajo Nation.

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