Collins announces $11.6M for Puritan to produce three million additional COVID-19 testing swabs per month

GUILFORD — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine announced Monday that Puritan Medical Products, a medical supplies manufacturer based in Guilford, has been awarded $11.6 million to expand its COVID-19 testing swab production. This award, which was funded through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act enacted in April, will be used to increase production of swabs by three million per month.

“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,” said Collins. “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.”

As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Collins worked to secure a $75.5 million investment for Puritan using Defense Production Act funds in April, which increased Puritan’s production of testing swabs and helped to build a modern manufacturing facility in Pittsfield. In August she announced a $51.2 million grant that allowed Puritan to retrofit an additional facility in Pittsfield. Together, these contracts 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.

The new award will help modify the newest plant in Pittsfield 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. The complete project timeline has not changed, and Puritan will have intermediate operational capacity as a result of this additional funding.

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