COVID-19 test manufactures rushing to produce more tests after cutting production and even destroying stock

According to Reuters, companies that make COVID-19 test kits are trying to increase their production in response to increased demand.
Although demand for tests dropped earlier in the year as cases declined, it has risen again with the introduction vaccines.

According to The New York Times, a manufacturer ordered employees to destroy their testing kits in June and laid off employees.

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As students return to school in the US, COVID-19 testing kit manufacturers are attempting to increase their production.

According to Reuters, Abbott Laboratories and Quidel Corp. had reduced their COVID-19 testing production in recent months due to lower demand.

According to The New York Times, Abbott ordered workers at a Maine facility to throw out parts of the testing kits that they had made due to a drop in demand. As vaccines were introduced and coronavirus cases dropped dramatically in the US, the demand for testing kits fell.

According to the report, then the company fired the employees who made the testing kits.

According to the Times, Abbot's site manager said that "the numbers are going down" to the approximately 2,000 workers he had laid off at an Illinois manufacturing plant. "This is all about money."

The spread of the more transmissible Delta virus has caused a surge in demand for rapid antigen testing. This has led to a surge of cases across the US. At the same time, companies call back workers and students return to their schools to start the academic year.

"We are hiring people and turning off parts of our manufacturing network which were idled or slowed down when guidance changed and the demand plummeted," a spokesperson for Abbott said to Reuters.

A spokesperson for Becton-Dickinson stated to Reuters that supplies were currently limited.

According to a spokesperson, the outlet reported that there was currently tight supply due to the increase in cases of the Delta variant.

CVS announced Friday that it will limit the number rapid tests individuals can purchase from its stores. Customers used to be able to buy unlimited tests but now they can only purchase six rapid testing kits per customer, according to Insider.

Insider reported that at-home rapid tests are becoming a popular method to quickly test for the disease.

"Abbott has been continuously manufacturing tests and we have been scaling-up manufacturing as we saw increased demand when Delta became dominant and new CDC guidance called to a reprioritization testing," an Abbott spokesperson previously stated to Insider.

According to federal data from Reuters, the demand for COVID-19 testing has increased from 250,000 per day at the start of July to 1.5 million tests per day by the middle of August. This is a nearly 600% increase.

According to the outlet, the demand for testing is expected to increase as more states and private employers implement vaccine mandates that require employees who are not vaccinated to be tested for the disease. In July, President Joe Biden announced that all federal employees must be vaccinated or face regular testing.

Walmart and major airlines like United and Frontier have issued vaccine mandates. Some mandates allow employees to opt out if they consent to regular testing.

According to industry officials and officials from the state health department, the demand is likely to rise as schools and campuses implement surveillance testing programs in order to prevent outbreaks.