In a post on its Newsroom site, Apple says that, after receiving US$10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund, COPAN Diagnostics has now shipped more than 15 million COVID-19 sample collection kits for communities across the country.
Teams at Apple, COPAN, and more than a dozen other US companies created innovative processes and developed new machinery for COPAN’s Southern California facilities, increasing test-kit production by close to 4,000% since April, according to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
Since May, COPAN has shipped those sample collection kits to medical facilities across the country, including hospitals in California, Wisconsin, and Texas.
Dr. Aleta Bonner is a pediatric emergency medicine physician in Temple, Texas, and has been studying the effects of respiratory viruses for more than two decades. When the pandemic caused a dramatic rise in cases in her community, she took time away from pediatric medicine to focus on collecting COVID-19 specimens and conducting a research study that would determine the most effective ways to test for the virus. Her hospital received the COPAN COVID-19 testing kits.
“The preferred specimen swabs are definitely COPAN’s because of their superior collection capabilities,” said Bonner. “And to hear how they ramped up to support those of us in the healthcare field — that is just an amazing feeling. We’re all in this together because we can only do our job as well as the support that’s behind us.”
In order to meet the ongoing demand for testing resources, COPAN accelerated its production and shipping timeline, and built an entire team to ramp this project, hiring nearly 250 new employees who worked alongside Apple engineers, product designers, operations professionals, and others. Together, the teams opened a new facility and set up a state-of-the-art medical supply chain in a matter of weeks to meet the country’s testing needs and help communities shape their responses.
Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund was designed to foster and support the innovative production and high-skill jobs that will help fuel a new era of technology-driven manufacturing in the US. To date, Apple has invested over $1.3 billion from the fund to support American manufacturing and innovation. Apple supports more than 450,000 supplier jobs across all 50 states.