Apple is adding face shields as its newest product line, company CEO Tim Cook announced in a video posted onto his Twitter account on Saturday.
The multinational tech giant plans to manufacturer and donate one million face shields every single week, with the first batch of one million units set to be ready by the end of this week.
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“We’ve launched a company-wide effort, bringing together product designers, engineering, operations, and packaging teams, and our suppliers to design, producer, and ship face shields for health workers,” he said.
These face shields pack flat 100 units in each box, and are easily assembled in two minutes and fully adjustable.
The first shipment was sent to Kaiser hospital facilities in the Santa Clara Valley last week, and he says the feedback from doctors has been “very positive.”
Cook said Apple is coordinating with medical professionals and government officials in the US to get the equipment to where they are needed most urgently. But he makes clear that the company fully intends to quickly expand distribution internationally.
To date, Apple has also sourced and donated 20 million N95 masks around the world.
“In both these efforts, our focus is on unique ways Apple can help, meeting essential needs of caregivers urgently and at a scale the circumstances require. For Apple, this is a labor of love and gratitude,” he said.
Hospitals in Canada, the United States, and Europe are facing a dire shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns. By providing PPE to protect frontline hospital workers from becoming sick, the capacity of a local healthcare system to care for the growing number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations is maintained.
Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers. pic.twitter.com/3xRqNgMThX
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 5, 2020