Testing swab maker furloughs workers as COVID-19 test demand falls


Puritan Medical Products, one of the world's two major producers of COVID-19 testing swabs, is extending a furlough of 180 employees as demand for the tests falls, the Bangor Daily News reported July 8.  

The employees at a plant in Pittsfield, Maine, will be furloughed until Aug. 2, a spokesperson for the company told the publication. 

The federal government invested about $400 million into Puritan Medical Products to scale up production of testing swabs for COVID-19 tests. The Pittsfield plant is one of two the company opened last year with federal funding, the Bangor Daily News reported. 

When the pandemic began, Puritan was the only American company producing the swabs needed for COVID-19 tests, according to the publication. 

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