United States / Coronavirus Insights
Virus Mitigation Industries

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by Eva Koronios, Industry Research Analyst
Aug 14 2020

Virus mitigation industries are those that manufacture products or provide services key to curbing the spread of Covid-19. IBISWorld anticipates these industries to maintain their expanded operations as the public health crisis continues and remains far from containment. The persistence of the virus will necessitate heightened volumes of personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer as well as preventative services like contact tracing and janitorial services.

Contact tracing services

Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who may have come into contact with an infected individual. By finding all known contacts of infected individuals, public health officials hope to ultimately stop the spread of a disease. As of the time of this writing, both the United States and Canada are engaged in contract tracing activities; for instance, a COVID-19 tracking app has recently been released in Ontario. This app is just one of many coronavirus-related apps that have entered the market globally since the start of the pandemic. The contract tracing industry is growing as demand for virus mitigation solutions rises.

PPE manufacturing

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, has been in high demand due to its use by doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, with IBISWorld projecting industry revenue to increase 15.2% over the year (IBISWorld report OD4216). On August 11, shares of the US-headquartered PPE manufacturer Owens & Minor Inc. were up 7.6%, and the company’s management is forecasting double-digit growth in 2021. Consumers are increasingly buying various iterations of PPE as well, such as one-time use surgical masks after healthcare experts advised people to wear masks in public as they gained more information about the pandemic. Seeing as COVID-19 will be around for the foreseeable future, and at least until a vaccine is developed and mass-produced, any PPE manufacturers will have space in the market to continue generating sales and posting growth.



Hand sanitizer manufacturing

IBISWorld expects revenue for the Hand Sanitizer Manufacturing industry in the United States to rise 16.4% in 2020 as a result of high demand stemming from the pandemic (OD4250). Furthermore, the number of operators in the industry is expected to increase 5.3% to 20 manufacturers in an industry worth $74.4 million in the same year. However, new brands of hand sanitizer have now outnumbered the Purell, Clorox and Lysol sanitizers and cleaners that have long comprised grocery store shelves. This is because lesser-known brands have been able to quickly ramp up their production of hand sanitizer products once the pandemic hit; plus, GOJO Industries, the company responsible for manufacturing Purell, has shifted toward supplying healthcare facilities first.

Janitorial services

In 2020, revenue for the Janitorial Services industries in the United States and Canada (56172 and 56172CA) is anticipated to decrease following the closure of all non-essential businesses, e.g. commercial office buildings, in a bid to control the virus’s spread. However, it is important to note that as conversations are increasingly had in both countries regarding the reopening of schools and other public facilities and institutions, the services provided by janitorial and other cleaning companies will be needed to decrease potential transmission of the virus from surface contact. Thus, while this industry is the only one in this list expected to perform negatively in 2020, increasing numbers of US and Canadian businesses are expected to outsource their cleaning activities. In addition, many of these standards are likely to be adopted as new protocols even upon the pandemic’s eventual conclusion. This bodes well for janitorial services, as “disinfection providers” are being focused on more and more in the ongoing fight to ensure adequate coronavirus prevention and safety in North America.

Online video and phone call platforms

Although these are not a virus mitigation industry in a physical sense, online video and phone call platforms such as Zoom have helped aid the United States and Canada’s containment efforts through the provision of an alternative to real-life meetings. Instead of holding in-person classes, colleges and universities have shifted entirely to a distance learning model, as have high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. US and Canadian offices have also switched to indefinite work-from-home policies amid social distancing mandates. As a result, videoconferencing – which rounds out IBISWorld’s list of especially profitable virus mitigation industries – has become everyone’s new normal, with IBISWorld forecasts projecting revenue growth of 19.1% in 2020 alone for the Video Conferencing Software Developers Industry in the United States (OD4594). Consequently, non-essential activities will likely remain on Zoom for the time being even as schools and offices reopen in some parts of the United States and Canada moving forward.