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Coronavirus

Swab Maker to Open 3rd Plant to Meet Demand During Pandemic

October 13, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Maine — The Maine company that makes specialized swabs for coronavirus testing is ready to open a third manufacturing plant.

Guilford-based Puritan had already opened one factory in Pittsfield to expand production, and on Monday announced it’s now taking over the former San Antonio Shoemakers factory in Pittsfield for a third manufacturing location.

The project will produce 50 million swabs per month and is funded by a $51.2 million coronavirus relief grant announced by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in August. Construction company Cianbro is partnering on the project.

Puritan is one of only two companies that produce the specialized swabs that are needed as testing ramps up during the coronavirus pandemic. The other manufacturing facility is in Italy.

The Trump administration already provided $75.5 million through the Defense Production Act for the first Pittsfield facility that opened this summer. It’s expected to be producing 90 million swabs by mid-November.

Together the two Pittsfield sites will account for hundreds of jobs.

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