MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota-based 3M says that it has ramped up production on respirator masks, and is currently producing at a rate of 35 million every month.

“Of these, more than 90% are now designated for healthcare workers, with the remaining deployed to other industries also critical in this pandemic, including energy, food and pharmaceutical companies,” CEO Mike Roman said. “Our most urgent priority is the safety of our employees, healthcare workers and the public.”

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More than 500,000 respirator masks from 3M’s South Dakota plant are on the way to either New York City or Seattle, where the need for them is at its greatest. They’re expected to arrive later today.

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“Like everyone, I see the pleas from our heroic doctors, nurses and first responders for the respirators and other equipment they desperately need. I want people to know we are doing all we can to meet the demands of this extraordinary time and get supplies from our plants to where they’re most needed as quickly as possible,” Roman said.

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The company said they expect to be able to double their capacity on respirator masks again within the next 12 months, to about 2 billion annually.