TORONTO (Reuters) – Sports equipment maker Bauer Hockey plans to modify its hockey visors into face shields for healthcare workers dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
The New Hampshire-based company, which had been shutting down its two facilities in Quebec and New York state because of restrictions tied to the pandemic, said on Wednesday it would instead use them to produce medical equipment.
The face shields are made of materials used to make hockey visors.
Months into the global epidemic, the protective equipment that hospital staff and other healthcare providers need is in short supply around the world.
Masks, gloves, gowns, face shields and other supplies protect healthcare workers from the virus, and also reduce the risk of spreading it from one patient to the next.
Bauer has received inquiries from hospitals and different organizations about the face shields, Bauer’s vice president of marketing, Mary Kay Messier, told Reuters.
“The people risking their lives to protect others is the inspiration for this project,” said Messier, adding Bauer hoped to make the first deliveries next week.
Institutions and companies across the world have retooled their operations to produce face masks.
Masks are being made in Germany by Zettl Automotive, a car supplier that usually makes seat covers for BMWs and Porsches, in Italy and Spain by Prada and other fashion companies, and in the Czech Republic by a producer of boxer shorts and panties called Styx.
Reporting by Denise Paglinawan; Editing by Amran Abocar and Peter Cooney