One of the stories we've been following at Plastics News is the work to mold millions of nasopharyngeal swabs for coronavirus testing. These long, flexible swabs are needed to reach the back of the nose or throat to gather samples and determine who has an active COVID-19 infection.
In early April, Bill Bregar wrote about Wisconsin injection molder Teel Plastics Inc. and its work supplying Puritan Medical Products. That story has since been updated with work by a team including the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, Minnesota's Protolabs Inc. and Innovative Product Brands Inc. of California to fill the pipeline.
Now the shortage of swabs is getting wider attention, with National Public Radio's Morning Edition and an in-depth report on swabs.
"I don't think the United States was prepared," Timothy Templet, Puritan's executive vice president of global sales, told NPR. "That includes us, Puritan. It includes our customers. And it includes the government ... And now it gets really nerve-wracking to think that we may be in this for another couple years."