Coronavirus News: Brooklyn company makes 50,000 coronavirus testing kits a week

EAST WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A company in Brooklyn is making 50,000 coronavirus tests a week, but it's about to start making even more as mass testing and contact tracing are crucial to safely reopening

Packed into boxes and shipped out by the thousands, the COVID-19 test kits are headed for New York City's municipal hospitals and they couldn't arrive soon enough.

"New York needs help right now, we need to help each other," test kit packager Anne Stachovsky said.

For Stachovsky, it's a mission. She's one of 17 workers at Collab, a firm in East Williamsburg, that's become the city's largest packager of coronavirus test kits.

The vials and swabs arrive in boxes. They are repackaged as testing kits and rushed throughout the city's hospital system.

"Each kit is comprised of two plastic bags: one on the outside, holding everything and one on the inside, for the hospital to repack the results, as well as a test file and a test swab to actually administer the test," said Collab co-owner Jacob Bennett.

"Every time we see boxes leave here, we all feel a tug because we know that they're going to a place where people really need them." Collab co-owner Adina Levin

The firm is packaging and shipping 50,000 test kits every week. Every one of them, crucial to the city's effort to track the spread of the virus.

"We have enough test kits for people, there are people are coming in and want to get tested, they're getting tested and that's so important as a part of this effort," said James Patchett with the NYC Economic Development Corporation.

For many of the employees, it's a lifeline. Stachovsky is an educator, who was furloughed because of the pandemic. It's a way to keep working, while giving back.

"I'm not a doctor, I'm not a nurse and, you know, there's, there's only so much I can do," Stachovsky said. "It's really brought me closer to this community and how important it is to just care for each other."

The firm is planning to add a second shift to ramp up production. And city officials say other firms are expected to come online in the weeks to come.

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