A Guilford company that makes swabs needed for coronavirus testing has received another $51.2 million from the federal government to ramp up its production.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, said Friday that the money, awarded as part of the CARES Act, will enable Puritan Medical Products to expand production by 50 million swabs a month.
“This substantial investment at Puritan is going to make a real difference in the lives of people in Maine and throughout the country. Increasing the production of COVID-19 swabs to at least 90 million per month will provide a tremendous boost to testing efforts, helping to reduce the spread of the virus and allowing us to safely reopen communities,” Collins said in a statement. “I commend Puritan’s hardworking employees, and I am proud that this manufacturing that is so critical to the health of our nation is happening right here in our great state.”
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That comes after another $75.5 million award from the federal government financing a new production facility in Pittsfield enabling Puritan to double its production to 40 million swabs a month and hire about 150 workers.
Puritan teamed up with Pittsfield-based Cianbro and Bath Iron Works as part of that effort. In May, the Bath shipyard delivered 30 machines to provide sterile packaging for Puritan’s testing swabs as part of that production expansion.
Puritan Medical Products is one of the top two makers in the world of the testing swabs needed to detect the coronavirus. Owned by Hardwood Products Co. LP, it has about 550 workers.