PORTLAND, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday announced that one of North America’s largest manufacturer of COVID-19 testing swabs will establish a new manufacturing and distribution operations in Tennessee.

An employee of Puritan Medical Products places swabs on a conveyor in June 2020. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Puritan Medical Products, a medical supplies manufacturer headquartered in Guilford, Maine, will open a factory in Orlinda, Tennessee, state officials said in a statement.

The project will result in 625 jobs over the next five years.

Puritan has played a major role in the U.S.’s efforts to conduct enough testing to help corral the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s total production of flock tip swabs and foam swabs has increased from 15 million to 20 million swabs a month to 70 million to 90 million per month.

The Tennessee factory is expected to produce up to 200 million swabs per month.

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