The Maine company that manufactures COVID-19 testing kits will lay off hundreds of employees, as the pandemic winds down.

Abbott Laboratory had a banner year in 2020, as they expanded in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for test kits. The company was approved for manufacture of the kits in March of 2021 by the FDA. In August of last year, the company opened their new facility in Westbrook, hiring 1,200 employees in order to increase their production to meet the need. At a time when so many residents were out of work and struggling to make ends meet, Abbott was providing jobs.

But as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. And in this case, it's a bittersweet reality. The diminishing COVID-19 case numbers show that Maine is getting ahead of the virus, but that means some residents will be looking for alternate employment. Abbott Labs will lay off a total of 400 employees, between their Scarborough and Westbrook locations. Company officials told WMTW-TV that it's because the demand for COVID-19 testing kits has dropped considerably. With more and more residents getting the COVID-19 vaccine, healthcare providers are seeing  fewer requests for testing. Abbott Laboratories will continue to manufacture the products, but in lesser numbers so some of the expanded workforce is no longer needed.

Laid off employees will be given severance packages and offered other jobs within the company, according to company officials.

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