Companies across the world have shifted their operations to produce face masks and other emergency medical equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bauer Hockey tweeted March 25 that the hockey equipment manufacturer has repurposed its facilities to “make face shields so that medical professionals battling COVID-19 can safely continue to help those most vulnerable.”
Bauer CEO Ed Kinnaly told ESPN that, with the NHL, NCAA and a number of other hockey leagues suspending activity, Bauer had been scaling back business until it realized it could use its facilities for a different purpose.
Kinnaly said that the company is producing medical shields in both of its North American manufacturing facilities. The full-face shields are intended to be worn on top of regular medical masks that cover the nose and mouth.
Kinnaly told ESPN that each shield costs about $3, including shipping, in the U.S. He said that Bauer doesn’t expect to make a profit, but that the production of face shields should allow the company to keep people employed during the coronavirus outbreak.
Midway through last week, Bauer’s Quebec facility had received orders for more than 100,000 units.
“In the U.S., honestly, the word is not out yet,” Kinnaly said March 25, referring to the Liverpool, N.Y., facility that typically focuses on lacrosse. “We’ve been doing outreach to various medical entities…we’re also going to use our social channels to basically let the medical community know that we have the ability to produce these.”
Bauer has made its face shield designs available to the public, with the hope that more businesses manufacture similar products.