VICTORIA -- The owners of a Victoria company are trying to put their design skills to work by making a new tool to help people stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Shukin and Jordan Campbell, co-owners of Shape Design, said they were in a store recently and noticed how many people were touching surfaces.

“We saw a bunch of things happening and decided that there is no reason we shouldn’t be able to do something ourselves,” said Shukin. “We had a few interactions in a few stores where people weren’t cleaning certain screens and we are just getting 20 other people’s germs on our hands.”

Their experiences in stores sparked the inspiration for them to make an acrylic key that can be used to push buttons, hold grocery bags and even open doors.

“The idea is it is a simple key,” said Shukin. “We wanted to leave it open enough in the design that people can do whatever they need to do with it … If you wanted to walk your dog with it you could go ahead and do that.”

The pair are hoping to use 50 per cent of their profits to buy gift cards at small businesses on Vancouver Island and then give them directly to frontline workers.

“Hopefully, (we can) generate a little bit more interest and stimulate the economy on the Island,” said Shukin.

Campbell said the response from people about the key has been overwhelming and positive.

Each COVID Key costs $12 and is made to be durable and easy to clean.