Bethany Zummo has been producing masks to help stop the spread of coronavirus ©World ParaVolley

Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medallist Bethany Zummo is helping to support her community in California by producing masks to protect people from coronavirus.

Zummo, a member of the United States’ sitting volleyball team, has worked with her family to produce the masks.

The American had been introduced to sewing at a young age and went on to secure a degree in Theatre Arts and Design Technology, as well as pursuing her sporting career.

Zummo has been using her skills by sewing masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

“It’s a terrible, tragic thing, but I think we can use this time purposefully," Zummo said.

“We can do our part in what we need to do – to stay at home.

“If you’re not doing this for yourself, do this for your grandma.

“Before this thing started I used to lift weights in the gym, now I’m lifting bags of fabric and curling my body behind the sewing machine.

“I’m feeling very purposeful doing this project.

“When I’m doing volleyball I know what my job is, I know what my role is – I have to get a good pass so my teammate can score a point so we can win.

“Now with this coronavirus thing I found a new purpose for my community.

“I have to create masks so the virus stops spreading.

“It’s really a shift of perspective of what you have to do in this kind of time.”

Zummo’s family have reportedly produced over one hundred masks since their project began.

United States has had the highest number of coronavirus cases, with over 645,000 reported and more than 28,000 deaths.

Over 2.1 million cases have been recorded worldwide since the outbreak began, with the overall death toll at more than 141,000.

The pandemic has also led to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

United States are assured of a place in the women’s sitting volleyball tournament at the Paralympics, after qualifying through the 2018 World ParaVolley Championships.

Russia, China, Italy, Brazil, Rwanda, Canada and Japan will also compete in the women’s tournament at the Games.