BOSTON (CBS) — New Balance will begin manufacturing face masks for nurses battling coronavirus, the Boston-based athletic wear company announced Friday.

“The global COVID-19 health crisis has called on individuals and organizations to bring their expertise and resources to solve new and extraordinary challenges. New Ballance has engaged a portion of its skilled and innovative U.S. manufacturing workforce to develop face mask to address the significant demand for these supplies,” said a statement.

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“We are producing prototypes for face masks in our Lawrence, MA manufacturing facility and hope to scale production using our other New England factories soon.”

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New Balance announced on March 16 that it would be temporarily closing its offices, factories and retail stores to help slow the spread of coronavirus.