The CEO of 3M, Mike Roman, announced that production of its N95 respirator masks is increasing since COVID-19 is starting to become more widespread in many countries. 

3M, a company focused on the industry field, health care, consumer goods and worker safety, started producing more of the N95 masks in January when China’s cases began to skyrocket and before the coronavirus pandemic made its way to the US.

The company is slated to produce around 2 billion masks by the end of the year, Roman explained to CNBC. Half of those masks will be used in the US. 

“We are bringing capacity on. We are making more N95 respirators than ever, and we’ll continue to add some capacity as we go into the end of the year, into next year,” Roman also added. 

These specific types of masks are mainly needed by those in the healthcare field and those who are first responders. 

There have been shortages of these masks and other PPE throughout the entire pandemic. Experts stress that the general public shouldn’t be wearing these specific masks. This way, there’ll be more for those who have to wear them daily, according to CNBC. 

For those that prefer to wear N95’s, Roman explained, “We’ll continue to look for ways to support consumers, and our consumer teams are looking at innovative, new mask kinds of solutions in addition to the N95 respirators, so we’ll work to respond to that, as well.”

The general public should wear cloth face coverings/masks in order to protect themselves and others from the virus, per CDC recommendations.