Amazon selling coronavirus face shields it helped design at cost
SEATTLE - Amazon is selling face shields at cost to help meet demand for health care workers and the general public amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has worsened this summer in numerous states across the U.S.
The face shields are available in packs of 25 for $66.25 total — which breaks down to $2.65 per shield. The company claims that’s a third less than the cost of all other reusable face shields available to frontline workers.
A file image taken May 19, 2020 shows a sign with the company's logo at Amazon in Bretigny-sur-Orge, France. (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT/AFP via Getty Images)
Amazon said it donated 30,000 more face shields than it originally anticipated since the onset of the outbreak. The company will donate another 150,000 shields by the end of 2020, according to an Amazon blog post.
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In early March, the Seattle-based company learned of a community group of 3D printing enthusiasts called the Washington State 3D Face Shield Hub. Amazon’s mechanical design and hardware workers later teamed up with the group to design and produce the face shields, the company said.
The company also produced an open sourced design package for its face shields, suitable for both 3D printing and injection molding and approved by the National Institutes of Health, so individuals or businesses can make their own.
“This means that anyone, whether an individual or large company, can access and manufacture frames for their community's needs,” the company said.
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In the early months of the pandemic, the U.S. faced a shortage of personal protective equipment, prompting companies like Amazon, Home Depot and Lowe’s to obtain and distribute masks and other gear to hospitals and health care workers.
As the virus resumes its rapid spread across the country and the number of hospitalized patients continues to climb, officials say PPE is once again running low due to structural issues in the U.S. medical supply chain.
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Nearly 155,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S, with more than 4.6 million confirmed cases, according to data compiled Aug. 3 by Johns Hopkins.