In a video post on Twitter, CEO Tim Cook said Apple launched a companywide effort bringing together product designers, engineers, operations, its packaging team, and suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields to healthcare workers. The first shipment was delivered last week to a Kaiser Permanente hospital facility in Santa Clara Valley, California. Apple plans to ship more than 1 million by the end of this week and 1 million per week after that to various facilities that need them.
"These pack flat, 100 to a box. Each shield assembles in less than two minutes and is fully adjustable," Cook said in the video post. He noted Apple is sourcing material and manufacturing in the U.S. and China. Cook said Apple is working closely with the medical community and government officials across the country to ensure the shields go where they are urgently needed. Apple hopes to quickly expand distribution beyond the U.S. Cook also announced Apple has been able to source more than 20 million surgical masks, up from 10 million it said it acquired last week. Cook tweeted:
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
With the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spreading across the U.S. and around the world, healthcare workers on the frontlines have been calling for more protective gear including surgical masks, gloves and face shields. The iPhone maker has been making a lot of moves to help them and keep individuals informed about the pandemic.
In addition to sourcing supplies, in late March Apple teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control, the Coronavirus Task Force and FEMA to launch a new COVID-19 website and app. Both are designed to make it easier for individuals to find reliable and accurate information about COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.