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Brooks Brothers making masks at factories in Mass., elsewhere to help in coronavirus pandemic

The Brooks Brothers clothing company plans to make up to 150,000 masks daily at factories in Massachusetts and other states in an effort to help front-line health workers battling the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Monday.

Brooks Brothers announced the initiative in a statement.

The company said it’s in the process of shifting factories in Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina from making suits, ties, and shirts to producing masks and gowns. Brooks Brothers plans to make up to 150,000 masks per day on an ongoing basis, the statement said

The drive is part of an effort to increase access to personal protective gear for health care workers and others fighting the spread of the virus, the company said.

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Over the past two weeks, the statement said, Brooks Brothers has contacted federal and state government officials, task forces, major hospital systems, municipalities, and other groups and partnered with Stop The Spread, a coalition of “volunteer CEOs” working to support civil authorities in addressing the pandemic.

"We consider this a duty, and part of our DNA at Brooks Brothers,” said Claudio DelVecchio, the company’s chief executive, in the statement. “These are challenging times that are impacting us all. We are deeply grateful to the medical personnel at the frontlines who are fighting the pandemic, and we are honored to do our part and join our peers in retail to provide protective masks that our health care system critically needs. I also want to thank our dedicated manufacturing employees who are returning to work as we reopen our factories to make this possible.”

Governor Charlie Baker on Monday thanked companies who have stepped up to assist officials in the fight against the virus, including New Balance, which he said will also begin manufacturing masks in Massachusetts.

The shortage of personal protective equipment at hospitals nationwide has become a near-constant talking point from state and federal officials amid the deadly pandemic.

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Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.