Under Armor manufacturing face masks for hospital staff amid coronavirus pandemic

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Under Armor is the latest brand to switch production to support the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The Baltimore-based shoe and apparel brand announced On March 31, it plans to manufacture and distribute more than 500,000 cloth face masks and assemble and distribute 50,000 specially designed waist packs to support the 28,000 healthcare providers and employees that make up the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS).

“This is an unprecedented time. Companies with the ability to innovate and provide the resources to make a difference are needed now more than ever, ”said Patrik Frisk, CEO of Under Armor, in an email. “Our partners in the University of Maryland Medical System and other medical organizations at the forefront of this pandemic are facing a new challenge. We hope to use our legacy of improving athletes and our legacy of helping the local community in these new ways to help the heroic healthcare workers make everyone’s life better every day. “

The United States is currently facing one Lack of face masks while the novel coronavirus continues to sweep across the nation; As of 9:20 a.m. on March 31, there are more than 161,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,000 deaths.

Reports earlier this month suggested the novel coronavirus would be declared a pandemic – which the World Health Organization did explain March 11 – Medical workers in the country would need an estimated 3.5 billion face masks over the course of the year. corresponding the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.

With the numbers and demand for medical devices increasing, various sports companies have played their part in these unprecedented times.

fanatic announced On March 23rd, it partners with Major League Baseball to help rescue workers fight the novel coronavirus by making face masks and gowns for hospitals from the same material that baseball jerseys are made from. Nike announced On March 25, a prototype of personal protective equipment, including face shields, will be manufactured under the guidance of healthcare workers from Oregon Health & Science University. New Balance is Manufacture of prototypes for face masks from its Lawrence, Massachusetts manufacturing facility with the hope of scaling up production at its other New England factories soon.

Under Armor has developed a one-piece face mask that does not need to be sewn. The origami-like folds of the mask shape the fabric into the desired mask shape. Randy Harward, Amour’s senior vice president of Advanced Material and Manufacturing Innovation, estimates the company can make up to 100,000 masks a week with its knife cutter, which can carve nearly 100 pieces of fabric at a time.

In addition to helping supply health care providers and UMMS employees, the brand has begun providing face masks to LifeBridge, a regional health organization based in Baltimore, and is in discussions with Johns Hopkins Medicine, MedStar, and other local medical institutions about the supply.

Under Armor, which is researching the 3D printing of N95 and N80 masks for healthcare professionals, has already supplied 1,300 face shields to UMMS.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our medical staff and our patients is our top priority,” said Dr. Mohan Suntha, President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System. “The national shortage of personal protective equipment has put great pressure on our hospitals – and every other hospital in the country – to manage care while ensuring care is safe for our patients and staff.

“By rapidly shifting manufacturing focus and making this much-needed equipment, Under Armor reaffirms its commitment to serving the Maryland communities while helping to save lives. We are incredibly grateful. ”

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