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Fanatics is halting the production of MLB jerseys at its factory in Pennsylvania in order to make masks and gowns to donate to frontline medical workers, executive chairman Michael Rubin announced Thursday.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to stop production and helped quickly accommodate the switch, according to Rubin.
Rubin added that Fanatics intends to produce 1 million gowns and masks and distribute them to hospitals in Pennsylvania "with the goal of extending this" to New York and New Jersey, the two states being hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
The state of New York is currently dealing with 37,258 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the New York Times, the most of any U.S. state. New Jersey is second with 4,402 cases and Pennsylvania has identified 1,690 cases.
With the pandemic worsening in the United States, personal protective equipment is growing more scarce, including N95 respirator masks, which offer more protection than traditional surgical masks.
As New York diverted a state stockpile of masks to New York City last Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, "1 million masks won't get us through the crisis, but it will make a significant contribution to New York City's mask issue."
Rubin is also part-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. Both franchises announced plans to cut staff salaries and then reversed course Tuesday. Rubin reportedly wasn't consulted about the Sixers' initial plan.