Coronavirus Protective Masks to Be Made From MLB Uniform Material

Fanatics, the company that manufactures the Nike uniforms for Major League Baseball, has temporarily converted its domestic factory in Easton, Pa., to produce desperately needed protective masks and gowns for medical professionals who are fighting the pandemic in the United States.

The masks are made from the same bolts of polyester mesh fabric used to make big-league uniforms, and the first prototypes bear the distinctive pinstripes of the Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Protective masks have been in short supply across the country , leaving health care workers more vulnerable to infection as they work with patients being treated or tested for Covid-19.

The shift is part of a broader push for apparel companies to make basic medical goods quickly, using material and equipment that are not specialized, like those required for some respirators.

Rubin, who is also a part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers of the N.B.A., said he was already discussing the possibility of making masks and gowns with the material in stock at Fanatics when the company was contacted by St. Luke’s, seeking help with protective equipment.

March and April are normally months when Fanatics is busy producing uniforms for teams and for commercial sales, so Rubin called Manfred for permission to use the material for the masks and gowns.

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