Gov. Baker Offers COVID-19 Update at UML Visit
Today, Gov. Charlie Baker was joined by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney at a COVID-19 update conference, held at UMass Lowell’s Fabric Discovery Center.
The center is currently conducting high-volume screening of locally produced personal protective equipment for FDA approval. At the conference, Moloney stated that the center has been working with both national and local partners, like the National Electrical Manufacture Association and Lowell General Hospital, to develop respirators, surgical masks, medical gowns and more. Currently, the initiative has developed over 400 samples for testing.
Additionally, local companies like New Balance and Boyd Technologies are taking advantage of the testing capabilities at UMass Lowell. Now, 27 local companies are working to make face shields, N95 masks, test swabs, medical gowns and parts for ventilators.
The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is also supporting the initiative, serving as a biotech incubator to give companies access to research and resources at UMass Lowell and the UMass Medical School. M2D2 is also looking to develop a simple blood test that can detect COVID-19 through rapid means. Baker noted that blood tests will be very important for surveillance and data collection of the virus.