Two companies that manufacture COVID-19 testing supplies in Maine have indicated that they are prepared to increase production as the delta variant drives up cases and more employers require unvaccinated workers to undergo regular testing.

Meanwhile, increased demand for COVID-19 tests amid the surge has put a strain on some – but not all – testing locations and prompted some hospital networks to reopen drive-thru “swab-and-send” locations.

Earlier this summer as COVID-19 cases plummeted, three Maine factories that occupied critical niches in the national supply chain for COVID-19 tests scaled back production and their workforce. Puritan Medical Products furloughed roughly 180 employees at its Pittsfield facility that manufactures nasal swabs and Abbott Laboratories laid off more than 300 employees at Westbrook and Scarborough facilities involved in the production of rapid-result testing kits. Read more