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The retail giant worked with Oregon Health & Science University to develop the much-needed personal protective equipment or PPE. Aside from the face shields, Nike is producing powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses for use in health care facilities throughout Oregon.
“Without proper facial protection, health care workers are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, which could place substantial strain on the health care workforce in the months ahead,” said Dr. Miko Enomoto, an associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at OHSU School of Medicine. “The full-face shields help protect health care workers’ faces and also help to prolong the length we can safely use a surgical or N95 mask.”
Nike said it is converting materials used to manufacture its footwear and other apparel to craft the health care equipment. The company worked with health care workers to test prototypes for mass production.
The first delivery of face shields and PAPR lenses arrived at OHSU last Friday. Nike said the protective gear was produced at its factories in Oregon and Missouri.
Hospitals around the country have noted a shortage of face masks, face shields and other protective gear as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened.
Nike is one of several companies to either shift production and source necessary equipment to aid relief efforts. Tech giant Apple has sourced 20 million face masks, while L.L. Bean has converted material normally used in dog bed liners to produce face masks.
“Nike’s generous response to the COVID-19 crisis helps to instill an added layer of confidence and support for health care workers, that we can safely carry out the jobs we were born to do,” Enomoto added.
To date, Nike and its executives have contributed $17 million toward efforts to combat COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Nike CEO John Donahoe disclosed during an earnings call last month that the company was looking into designs for medical equipment.
"This is a moment in society where the private sector has a major role to play,” Donahoe said.