HANESBRANDS BUILDING

Hanesbrands Inc. spokesman Matt Hall said Thursday the number of employees still on furlough is 41 locally and 660 in the U.S.

Hanesbrands Inc. will begin producing cotton surgical masks at some of its factories in Latin American as part of a federal contract to combat a national shortage of face masks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

At peak output, the company expects to produce about 1.5 million masks a week.

The announcement came Saturday during President Donald Trump’s media briefing about the new coronavirus and the federal government’s response.

Hansesbrands, a global apparel manufacturer based in Winston-Salem, has joined a cooperative consortium of other major apparel manufacturers led by Parkdale Mills America that are dedicating manufacturing capacity to meet the U.S. need for masks during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a Hanesbrands spokesman.

Hanesbrands is not producing respiratory masks but rather a surgical mask.

The company went from negotiating a contract with the federal government to beginning production in less than a week, according to the spokesman.

Using U.S.-grown cotton, the masks are being produced in Hanesbrands' sewing factories in El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

These factories would normally be producing T-shirts, underwear, socks, sweatpants and sweatshirts.

lsanderlin@wsjournal.com

336-727-7339

@LeeOSanderlin

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