Puritan Medical Products (Guilford, Maine) has been awarded $11.6 million to expand its COVID-19 testing swab production by 3 million swabs per month, according to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The award was funded through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act enacted in April. It will help fund modifications to Puritan’s newest plant in Pittsfield, Maine, to accommodate additional object flocking machines to make swabs for Cue Health. This funding will cover additional engineering work, changes in utilities and overtime needed to keep the overall project on schedule, according to Collins’ office.
“Increased testing is crucial to tracking and slowing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our communities safe. Puritan Medical Products has risen to this challenge by exponentially increasing its production of testing swabs, creating hundreds of jobs in Guilford and Pittsfield in the process,” Collins said in a news release. “I am very proud of the dedicated Mainers who have been involved in this manufacturing effort that is so critical to the health of our nation, and I will continue to advocate for the resources that they need to keep up the fight.”
In August, Puritan landed a $51.15 million U.S. Department of Defense/Department of Health and Human Services grant that allowed the company to retrofit a former shoe factory in Pittsfield. The contracts have brought Puritan’s total production of flock tip swabs and foam swabs to at least 90 million per month as well as allowed the company to hire hundreds of additional employees, according to Collins’ office.