The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has forced hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer to change course from creating helmets, sticks, and skates to helping doctors, nurses and first responders.
Bauer has started producing medical shields which could be sent out to hospitals by next week. According to ESPN.com’s Emily Kaplan, more than 100,000 units have been ordered across Canada. Police and firefighters have also reached out to the company expressing interest.
[Bauer CEO Ed] Kinnaly said the medical shields are worn in conjunction with regular medical masks that go over the nose and mouth, providing total facial protection by also covering the eyes. He said the cost of each medical shield is about $3 in the U.S., including shipping. The company does not expect to make any profit on the new endeavor.
While the company is forced to pause producing hockey equipment, this effort allows them to keep employees in their jobs.
Protection that allows athletes to give everything for their team is our heritage.
Right now, we're all on the same team. We're repurposing our facilities to make face shields so that medical professionals battling COVID-19 can safely continue to help those most vulnerable. pic.twitter.com/pBiZuUWdVl
— BAUER Hockey (@BauerHockey) March 25, 2020
Kinnaly added that the company is looking to assist medical professionals in the U.S. next.
“In the U.S., honestly, the word is not out yet.” Kinnaly told ESPN.com. “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.”
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