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COVID-19 testing in Ohio to dramatically increase thanks to company in Independence

Governor DeWine called it a "breakthrough"

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — It is no secret that testing for COVID-19 is critical to containing its spread, and that testing kits are in short supply.

But that may not be the case much longer.

On Friday Governor Mike DeWine announced a “breakthrough.”

“We have experienced a shortage of swabs in Ohio, and really, what we’ve been able to do is come up with an Ohio solution to this,” Gov. DeWine said.

He went on to say it involves Roe Dental Laboratory in Independence.

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Roe can use 3-D printers to make nasal swabs out of clear plastic.

“We realized the same technology that we have for printing dental applications can be used for medical applications,” Roe CEO BJ Kowalski said.

He thanked the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance for helping him, as well as his furloughed employees who are now returning to work to make the swabs.

“We’ll be able to make 10,000 to 15,000 per day starting tomorrow,” Kowalski said.

By next week, Ohio will have enough kits to test more than 7,000 people a day. Within a month 22,000 can be tested per day—six times above the current number.

“Because of our experiences, the talent of our technicians and our equipment, we decided, ‘Let’s have a go at trying to help,’” Kowalski said.

This weekend, Governor DeWine will fine-tune plans to re-open the state.

On Monday, he will likely announce how soon certain sectors of the economy may reopen.

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