Numerous companies are calling audibles and producing medical clothing and accessories in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
New Balance has added its name to the list:
"The global COVID-19 health crisis has called on individuals and organizations to bring their expertise and resources to solve new and extraordinary challenges.
"New Balance has engaged its skilled and innovative U.S. manufacturing workforce to develop face masks to address the significant demand for these supplies. We are producing prototypes for face masks in our Lawrence, MA manufacturing facility and hope to scale production using our other New England factories soon. We are coordinating our efforts with government officials and local medical institutions as well other U.S. consortiums and testing facilities."
Face mask shortages have occurred in the United States and worldwide as health care workers care for patients with COVID-19.
Of note, health care workers in Los Angeles County were asked to re-use their masks given a lack of supply, per Soumya Karlamangla of the Los Angeles Times.
Resident physicians at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City also created a GoFundMe page for donations to be used for N95 masks, eye protection, gowns and gloves.
Supplies and money have poured in, and other companies outside New Balance have stepped up, with Fanatic notably turning baseball jersey fabric into protective masks and gowns, per Emily Giambalvo of the Washington Post.
The World Health Organization reported March 27 that at least 512,701 worldwide cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed and at least 23,495 people have died as of March 27.