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A medical supply company is closing its plant in Oconee County, eliminating nearly 600 jobs.

Covidien said Wednesday it will close the plant in Seneca over the next three years as it moves operations to Costa Rica.

The plant makes elastic hospital products, medical bandages and surgical supplies. It employs about 595 full-time and temporary contract employees.

Company government affairs director Nicole Barranco says Covidien decided to move the manufacturing to a plant in Costa Rica to remain competitive.

Barranco says employees at Seneca can apply for jobs at Covidien plants in Camden and Greenwood. She says workers will be provided with severance and outplacement services.

Oconee County economic development director Richard Blackwell says the closing is a blow to the county.

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