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Jan 11, 2022Print this page

Puritan-BU: A New England Case Study in COVID-19 Success

The Need for Covid-19 Testing

When the COVID-19 pandemic came to Boston University (BU), the school faced unprecedented upheaval. The nation’s fourth-largest private research institution was forced to deliver all classes on-line in March 2020. As BU shuttered its student housing and dining halls, critical revenue was lost and leadership declared a state of financial emergency.

As the months dragged on and the pandemic worsened, BU recognized the urgent need to bring students, faculty and staff back to campus safely for the fall semester of 2020. The cornerstone of BU’s strategy relied on building a robust COVID-19 surveillance capability from scratch that included weekly testing of the entire population, building its own private RT-PCR clinical laboratory, and standing up contact tracing and quarantine housing. A critical ingredient in this plan depended on acquiring globally-scarce testing swabs.

And, so, BU turned to a northern neighbor for help. In May 2020, BU connected with Puritan Medical Products—North America’s largest manufacturer of COVID-19 testing swabs—and asked for Puritan’s testing kits. And Puritan came through: After meeting with BU officials, Puritan Executive Vice President of Sales Timothy Templet—a lifelong Mainer and strong believer in community—gave his verbal pledge to help one of New England’s most prestigious academic institutions.

Puritan’s Process

To serve BU, Puritan designed a customized product specifically for the university, and its manufacturing facility worked 20-hour days, seven days a week, despite sky-high demand elsewhere. For months, Puritan leaders remained in constant communication with Randall Moore, Associate Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at BU. Collaboration was key, and it worked. By July 2020, Puritan’s first shipments arrived at BU.

Puritan BU Case Study Infographic

On Campus at BU

Fast forward to December 2021, and BU is back. Students have returned to campus. Classrooms are full and the campus is operating at full capacity. Through the end of the year, BU is administering up to 40,000 tests per week, and successfully slowing the spread of COVID-19 among students, faculty, and staff while giving the entire campus peace of mind. Test results are generally received in 12 to 24 hours, giving BU’s contact tracers the lead time to notify and isolate those who test positive.

This year, Puritan’s testing kits turned BU’s problem into a solution. The New England institution has completed nearly two million COVID-19 tests, with countless more expected in the coming months. With Puritan’s help, BU is already building an inventory of testing kits for Spring 2022.

The collaboration between Puritan and BU is a case study in two New England institutions working together to help others. Faced with crisis, Puritan and BU turned it into an opportunity. Together, they propelled higher education to a better, brighter future.

Our team of product experts is here to help. Contact a Sales Rep today to discuss your testing strategy.

Contact a sales rep today

Topics: Puritan, Diagnostics, Customer Stories, Specimen Collection Procedure, COVID-19


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