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At-home COVID-19 test kit manufacturing plant opens in Carlsbad

Quidel expands its operations in North County
Posted at 5:22 PM, Nov 09, 2021

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV)-- A COVID-19 testing kit company opened its new Carlsbad plant for public tours on Tuesday. Quidel Corporation seeks to manufacture 600 million At-home Antigen tests out of the plant every year.

A large crowd of people got a first look at the new Carlsbad location of the Quidel Corporation.

"From March 4, 2020, onward, we were off to the races, and the rest is history," Quidel CEO Doug Bryant said.

The San Diego-based company has been in constant talks with the FDA and HHS on a COVID-19 action plan. In May 2020, Quidel was the first to get an Emergency Use Authorization for a lab COVID-19 Antigen test. But they were determined to make the process easier.

"As a result of the Delta variant, it turned out to be the right decision," Bryant said.

They created the At-home nasal Antigen test kit called QuickVue. The 128,000 square foot Carlsbad plant is where 600 million of these tests will be made every year.

"I swab myself in both nostrils, and I take that swab and put it in a little vile," Bryant said. "Then I take the strip out of its pouch and put the stip inside, and ten minutes later, I get a test result. So it's that simple."

Now with companies, schools, airlines, and other industries requiring frequent testing, Bryant said he is proud of his team for giving customers an affordable, convenient option.

To date, Quidel has hired 160 employees at the location. The company is working to hire nearly 300 more people from various backgrounds, including chemists, engineers, manufacturing professionals and more.

"I know the job market is really tough right now," Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall said. "But this gives a great opportunity for those here in North County that are looking for work in the biosciences industry."

Whatever the demand becomes, Bryant said Quidel isn't going anywhere. The company, people, and products will be made right here in America.

"Who knows what will happen in the future," Bryant said. "But we will be here. We will be able to manufacture products, whether it's COVID or some other infectious disease, in the future. We'll have a site here in the United States."

The Quidel QuickVue At-home COVID-19 test kits can be found in most pharmacies, as well as online retailers like Amazon.