Personal protective equipment is in short supply across the US as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Google today helped its local community by donating 49,000 face shields that it designed and assembled.

Original 4/23: Given the global demand, basic materials needed to manufacture PPE are currently hard to acquire. Google leveraged its global supply chain to source clear plastic, elastic, and foam — to help ensure the portion resting on a wearer’s foreheads does not leave indents after long periods of use.

Update: Google’s Devices & Services division, specifically the Advanced Technology and Projects group, is behind the face masks.

To quickly respond to the national shortage of personal protective equipment, Google ATAP engineers led the design and manufacturing of 49.000 face shields that will be donated to the Valley Medical Center Foundation and distributed to the Bay Area hospitals and healthcare providers. Personal protective equipment such as face shields are crucial to limit exposure of medical professionals to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

After consulting physicians and nurses at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals & Clinics, a team of Google engineers designed and locally fabricated 49,000 face shields.

The donation was announced (via KCBS Radio) by the Valley Medical Center Foundation this morning and CEO Chris Wilder praised Google for the quick delivery. These shields will be distributed to hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, and other high-risk environments in Santa Clara County to protect against liquid spray and droplets.

“Google is stepping up in our most trying time in Santa Clara County,” said Cindy Chavez, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “Thanks for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our community.”

Earlier this month, Google announced that it would provide 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as 4,000 Chromebooks, to students in California. Meanwhile, sister company Verily early on partnered to establish community-based testing sites. That effort currently has nine locations across the state and involves an online screener.

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Abner Li

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