Delta Apparel Inc. announced Tuesday that it will leverage its manufacturing facilities to begin producing cotton face masks.

The company has joined a coalition of apparel brands that are responding to calls for companies to help produce face masks during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Once fully ramped up, the coalition, inclusive of Delta Apparel, expects to produce up to 10 million face masks per week in the U.S. and in Central America.

Robert W. Humphreys, Delta Apparel’s chairman and CEO, said, “We are extremely proud to offer the resources we have available for the manufacture of face masks to help support those hospitals and health care workers on the front lines, as well as all Americans battling the spread of COVID-19. We have already begun production of the face masks in our sewing facility in North Carolina and expect to begin production in Honduras this week.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently issued recommendations on wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. In addition to the production of face masks with the coalition, Delta Apparel is also producing and selling non-medical grade face coverings.

Humphreys concluded, “We are proud of our dedicated workforce who wanted to participate in these efforts and quickly took on the challenge to retool our production lines to begin making these masks and face coverings. Of course, the safety of our employee base is of utmost importance to us. We are following the recommended protocols within our facilities, including providing face masks for our employees to wear, implementing social distancing protocols, and increasing sanitation and cleanliness measures.”

Photo courtesy Delta Apparel