Abbott closed a COVID-19 test manufacturing facility in Gurnee and let go of 2,000 employees as demand for COVID testing continues to decline, the company said.
The workers received the announcement on Tuesday. The facility, which is located at 605 Tri-State Parkway in Gurnee, shut down operations on Wednesday.
The Gurnee facility was opened in September after the White House announced it would purchase 150 million COVID-19 rapid tests from Abbott at $5 per test.
Abbott said on Tuesday there has been significantly lower testing demand recently.
“This has been driven by several factors, including significant reductions in cases in the U.S. and other major developed countries, accelerated rollout of COVID-19 vaccines globally and, most recently, U.S. health authority guidance on testing for fully vaccinated individuals,” the company said in a statement.
“While it’s positive that these external events and trends signal an accelerated return to normalcy for many countries, they have suddenly and fundamentally impacted market demand for COVID-19 testing, particularly for surveillance and screening with rapid testing,” the company added.
Abbott said they still expect double-digit growth for 2021 compared to the previous year.
“We’ve recently seen a rapid decline in COVID-19 testing demand and anticipate this trend will continue, which led us to adjust our full-year guidance,” said Robert B. Ford, president and chief executive officer, Abbott.
“At the same time, excluding COVID-19 tests, our organic base business growth is accelerating, we continue to see improving end-markets and our new product pipeline continues to be highly productive,” Ford added.
Illinois continues to see decreasing COVID cases. On Tuesday, the state reported 1,013 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, which is the lowest number since the beginning of the pandemic.