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COVID-19 Related Business News Includes Building Of Key Virus Testing Tool

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Sonora, CA – Small business resources that will continue rolling out as the coronavirus crisis deepens might brighten a stormy outlook while one local company’s work to deal with the actual virus may be a silver lining.

Sonora-based Kinematic Automation, now in its fourth decade and internationally known for helping develop optimal end-to-end productivity solutions for manufacturers, has its pedal to the metal to deliver a multi-million-dollar automated unit that will speed up the processing of COVID-19 tests.

The custom automation machinery Kinematic develops take months of engineering, construction, and subsequent testing ahead of installation. While the CAM 7 unit it is building for medical technology company Hologic, Inc. was supposed to be ready in October, due to the COVID-19 emergency, the company is trying to push the delivery date up to June.

Additionally, Kinematic officials say they are also now quoting at least two other projects for patented machines that can be used for different elements of the testing supplies. To accommodate current demands, they are in the hiring mode; specifically looking for four to six machine-building workers on a two- to three-month assignment. Job requirements include the ability to utilize plans, blueprints, schematics, and manuals to execute the work.

A Key COVID-19 Tool

It was nationally reported that Hologic recently received emergency use authorization from the Federal Drug Administration for its rapid molecular diagnostic test for COVID-19. Kinematic officials note that it can provide a result in less than three hours. According to Hologic Company President and CEO Steve Macmillan, the tests are now in use by Hologic’s hospital and research lab customers across the country and the approval would allow Hologic to ramp up production twelve-fold.

Kinematic President and Co-founder Ted Meigs says the company, which joins the world community in the concern surrounding COVID-19, has a global presence as a leader in its field that obligates it to do everything in its control to mitigate the further spread of the pandemic.

“Never in our history have we faced the challenge that stands before us at this time. In our country’s critical need for COVID-19 tests, our unique Tuolumne County company is a key supplier of equipment to help our customers produce these tests,” he states.

“The local residents who have been the primary workforce from our inception deserve the credit for the success we have enjoyed for so many years. These same people are now on a mission to do whatever it takes to make a difference in the causality count,” he adds gratefully. “This county should be very proud to have provided such an extraordinary group of talented, creative and dedicated people who are doing so much for so many in their time of need. We are all in this together with one goal, to get through this and to come out on the other side even stronger than before.”

Other Coronavirus Related Business Buzz

Local business economic development officials for both Tuolumne and Calaveras counties say their offices are also working full-steam to get the word out about current and pending resources available for small businesses.

Tuolumne County Director of Innovation and Business Assistance Cole Przbyla says while his office had not yet received any communications from federal or state level officials about COVID-19 manufacturing or services needs and incentives for local businesses to gear up and provide related goods and services, he anticipated that incentives would probably be discussed once Congress passed its stimulus package.

Asked about the number of local businesses who have already taken advantage of the ability to apply for Small Business Administration assistance to deal with COVID-19 impacts, Przbyla says it is still too soon to know since he has heard that historically SBA has about a two-week response time.

Calaveras County Economic Director Kathy Gallino encourages local businesses to check out a resource page her department developed for business owners and employees, which provides extensive guidance, the latest workplace rules and advisories, and links to federal and state business resources.

  • An image of the exact Kinematic system that Hologic, Inc., will use to manufacture COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests that will provide a result in less than three hours

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