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Medtronic, 3M step up production in response to coronavirus

Medtronic is teaming up with Elon Musk.
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FRIDLEY, Minn. — Medtronic has ramped up production of ventilators in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and 3M has increased their production of N95 masks.

Medtronic officials say they've already increased ventilator manufacturing by 40% increase this year, and have plans to further increase their output.

"In the company's Ireland ventilator manufacturing facility, the company currently has over 250 employees dedicated to ventilator manufacturing and plans to more than double that number, including transferring staff from other Medtronic sites to support ramp up activities," according to a news release.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk, Tesla's chief executive officer, tweeted Saturday that he had a good talk with Medtronic about ventilators.

RELATED: Elon Musk offers to make ventilators if there's a shortage from coronavirus

On Sunday, a Medtronic official told KARE 11 that they're working with "Tesla and others to try and solve this global ventilator supply challenge."

3M has doubled their global output of N95 masks to a rate of more than 1.1 billion per year, which is nearly 100 million per month. They are currently at maximum levels of production.

In the United States alone, 3M is producing 35 million respirators a month, and 90 percent are being sent to health care workers. The remaining masks are sent to other industries that are vital to our communities, which include, energy, food and pharmaceutical companies. 

 "As I write this, more than 500,000 respirators are on the way from our South Dakota plant to two of the more critically impacted areas, New York and Seattle, with arrivals expected starting tomorrow," 3M CEO Mike Roman said in a blog post.

RELATED: Do you have medical masks you could donate to health care workers? Here's where you can drop them off

RELATED: Watch live: White House coronavirus task force gives update on US response

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11

The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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