Abbott Labs cutting hundreds of jobs as testing demand drops

July 8, 2021 GMT

WESTBROOK, Maine (AP) — A company that makes COVID-19 testing kits is laying off as many as 400 workers at two locations in Maine because of a decline in demand.

About 300 Abbott Laboratories workers will be laid off in Westbrook, the mayor told WMTW-TV. About 100 workers at the company’s location in Scarborough will be laid off, as well, the station reported.

“We’ve recently seen a significant, rapid decline in COVID-19 testing demand and anticipate this trend will continue. Because of this, we are reducing our workforce that produces rapid tests in Westbrook and Scarborough,” the Illinois-based company said in a statement.

Last May, Abbott announced it was expanding its workforce into Westbrook to help make coronavirus testing kits by buying a former sporting goods distribution center that would employ about 1,200 workers.

Abbott says the laid-off employees will be offered severance packages and will be considered for other positions within the company.

“These sites will continue to play an important role in manufacturing tests for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases around the world. We’re grateful for the contributions our workers in Maine made to our country during the pandemic,” the company said.

In other pandemic news in Maine:



New cases of the virus continued to decline.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 27.57 new cases per day on June 22 to 17.86 new cases per day on July 6. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine also did not increase over the past two weeks, at 0.43 deaths per day on June 22 and on July 6.

The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday there have been more than 69,000 reported cases of the virus in the state since the start of the pandemic. There have also been 861 deaths.

More than two-thirds of the state’s eligible population has had its final dose of coronavirus vaccine.