As football season winds down, only to be replaced by ice hockey and lacrosse, a South Florida doctor has come up with a design for a shield said to be effective against the COVID-19 spread among athletes required to wear helmets with protective face guards to play sports.
As reported by CBS affiliate WFOR in Miami, CAGEMASK is a two-layer reusable, washable cloth mask that is easily attached to the protective cage of a sports helmet. It does not inhibit breathing or performance, according to its manufacturer.
“CAGEMASK is a mask applied to the cage that has a helmet to help stop the spread of droplets,” said Dr. Keith Hechtman, the Miami-based board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine who created the design for CAGEMASK.
“CAGEMASK is the opportunity for people playing football, hockey, and lacrosse to take extra precautions to allow themselves to play safely,” said Courtney Young, athletic director at Riviera Prep and one of the partners of CAGEMASK.
Hechtman and Young teamed up with South Florida dress design house Rene Ruiz Collection, using seamstresses at its Hialeah sample rooms to manufacture the masks.
“The inner layer is a cotton microfiber and the outer layer is more of a polyester-type stretch material, and it allows the material to move back and forth in the course of handling,” Hechtman said.
After months of testing and working in conjunction with doctors and players under CDC guidelines, the product was patented.
Ransom Everglades school was first to sign up for this new layer of protection. School officials were so pleased with CAGEMASKS during football season that they have since ordered CAGEMASKS for the entire Lacrosse team, which begins play next month.
Orders have come from all over the country, WFOR reported, including from the NFL's Washington Football Team, which employs the masks during practice.