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Honeywell Shuts Two Mask Factories as Face-Covering Demand Drops

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 6/15/2021 Thomas Black and Shira Stein
Protective Face Masks © Bloomberg Protective Face Masks

(Bloomberg) -- Honeywell International Inc. is shutting two N95 mask facilities that were hastily stood up for production last year to meet a surge in demand spurred by Covid-19.

The shutdowns will affect about 470 workers in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and another 700 in Phoenix and come after many states ended mask mandates and vaccines have given more people confidence to forgo face coverings, Eric Krantz, a Honeywell spokesmen, said in an email statement.

“We are now seeing a dramatic reduction in demand for N95s,” Krantz said.

The company will continue production at its new, more efficient, automated N95 mask factory in Chandler, southeast of Phoenix, he said.

The factories in Smithfield and Phoenix were making masks with mostly manual labor and were among the first that Honeywell opened last year to expand N95 production in response to a shortage of personal protection equipment as Covid-19 began to sweep across the U.S.

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