KEY POINTS

  • Hasbro announced plans to produce thousands of face shields for health workers
  • The company will donate the face shields to hospitals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • The announcement comes as hospitals struggle with PPE shortage

Toymaker Hasbro is shifting its production from toys and board games to face shields for health workers. Along with board game manufacturer, Cartamundi, Hasbro is set to produce the protective equipment that hospitals need amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement Saturday (April 25), Hasbro announced its plans to create 50,000 face shields per week in the coming weeks for local hospitals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to work together with our partners at Cartamundi to produce much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE), to directly assist the critical needs of front-line medical workers in our community," Hasbro, Inc President and Chief Operating Officer John Frascotti said in a statement. "Throughout this challenging time, Hasbro is committed to using our brands, our resources and our expertise to help make a difference."

According to CNN, Hasbro plans to produce 250,000 face shields at Cartamundi's East Longmeadow, Massachusetts facility, but the company will continue to evaluate the need for PPEs.

"We are very proud that we've been able to shift our focus to design, engineer and manufacture essential face shields to donate to local health care workers as they fight COVID-19," Cartamundi Executive Vice President Phillip Wauters added. "We plan to continue to produce this essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for the next several weeks as our communities continue to come together to bravely work through this crisis."

The announcement comes as hospitals struggle with the lack of PPEs for health workers. In fact, the shortage has led some medical workers to reportedly reuse supplies, while others have had to improvise and "protect" themselves using materials such as trash bags.

In response, several companies have been using their resources to produce PPEs for health workers. For instance, Apple previously announced its aim to produce one million face shields per week while SpaceX has also created face shields as well as hand sanitizers for businesses and hospitals.

As of April 26, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has reported 54,938 coronavirus cases, while the State of Rhode Island Department of Health has reported 7,439 coronavirus cases and 226 fatalities.

A group of doctors working with patients infected with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 wear face shields at the Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital de Clinicas in Porto Alegre, Brazil A group of doctors working with patients infected with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 wear face shields at the Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital de Clinicas in Porto Alegre, Brazil Photo: AFP / Silvio AVILA