Medford dental company receives federal approval to make nasal swabs

MEDFORD, Ore.– A dental lab in Medford just got a federal stamp of approval to make nasal swabs used in COVID-19 testing.

The company says producing the swabs locally will help speed up the supply chain.

As their name indicates Solo Dental usually makes dental appliances but now, they’re taking a bite out of a new market by helping produce large quantities of a different, but very important piece of equipment.

The nasal swabs are the same ones doctors use to push all the way up to the back of your nose. While that can be painful, it’s one of the most important tools for identifying someone with coronavirus.

Solo Dental General Manager Joe McCloud says they began looking at producing the swabs after they were forced to close at the beginning of the pandemic.

“Kind of put some feelers out to see what type of things we could do for our community in order to help out with some of the supply shortages,” he said.

After about a month, McCloud says they received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. With a 3-d printer, the company is cleared to produce sanitized and cured swabs for use. Currently, they have 15,000 swabs ready for distribution and can produce around 10,000 every week.

“What our goal is is to produce a shorter supply chain and help facilitate the labs in our immediate area,” said McCloud.

The company is reaching out to local hospitals and laboratories. With supply on hand, its hopeful it can help ease equipment shortages at labs across the state.

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