Apple published support guidelines and a fitting video for health care workers who may eventually use the company’s new face shields. The simple plastic devices are designed to be an added layer of protection for health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Sunday that the company had launched “a company-wide effort bringing together product designers, engineering, operations, packaging teams, and our suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for health workers” in a video posted to Twitter.
The shields ship flat in boxes of about 100, and some assembly is definitely required. That’s why instructions on how to assemble those face shields have now been posted to Apple’s support page. The directions seem pretty easy to follow and involve fitting together a plastic forehead band and clear plastic face shield with a silicone band. The support page also includes a video that shows workers how to properly fit their masks.
Some of the shields have already been delivered to medical workers in Santa Clara, California. Cook said in the video that the company planned to ship 1 million face shields by the end of the week and an additional 1 million a week after that.
Apple isn’t the only group pivoting toward manufacturing these devices during the pandemic. SpaceX, Ford, Tesla, and GM are among the many companies producing medical equipment during this crisis. Smaller groups of volunteers have also started manufacturing supplies that could help, including one at Cornell that has been 3D-printing face shield parts.
Health care workers are at high risk of catching the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. At the same time, many hospitals in the US face severe resource shortages as they continue to fight the pandemic.