Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio will ramp up testing for COVID-19 thanks in part to a Cleveland company

Mike DeWine
Posted at 4:27 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 18:13:37-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine announced a plan on Friday to significantly boost daily testing in Ohio—currently at around 3,700 a day—thanks to recent approval for reagent use and a new partnership to manufacture up to one million swabs.

According to DeWine, the state is collaborating with the Ohio Manufacturers' Association and ROE Dental Lab, a Cleveland-based company that manufactures dental prosthetics, to make the testing swabs.

RELATED: ROE Dental Laboratory in Independence answers the call to produce much-needed test swabs

Prior to the collaboration, Ohio had partnered with Formlabs to produce the swabs. “However, given our significant demand, more swabs are needed,” DeWine said. “That’s where ROE Dental Lab comes in.”

The Ohio Manufacturer’s Association worked with the ROE and Formlabs, a Toledo-based company, to come up with swabs that could be 3D printed.

ROE has around 100 employees that are working to make the swabs, which are 3D printed with FDA approved surgical grade resin in an FDA registered laboratory.

The effort will push testing in Ohio to 15,000 a day by May 6, and then 18,800 a day by May 13, and then 22,000 a day by May 27.

The governor said this will allow a dramatic increase of testing in places like nursing homes and homeless shelters and permit Ohio to determine that workers in essential manufacturing facilities and grocery employees “are healthy and not spreading the disease.”

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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