Economy

Ford shuts two U.S. assembly plants due to COVID-19 infections

Ford shuts two U.S. assembly plants due to COVID-19 infections”

The company closed its Dearborn, Michigan factory on Tuesday due to a positive Covid-19 test by one worker, but production was set to resume the following day.

"The facility has temporarily suspended production for deep cleaning and disinfection and we have informed our implant team members, UAW partners and our customers", said Lear in a statement. The plant was operating again Wednesday morning after parts of the facility were disinfected.

"When two employees who returned to work this week tested positive for COVID-19, we immediately notified people known to have been in close contact with the infected individuals and asked them to self-quarantine for 14 days", a Ford spokeswoman said. "Our protocols are in place to help stop the spread of the virus".

British Columbia has entered into phase 2 of the provinces re-start plan allowing some business to reopen. (Jonathan Hayward  The Canadian Pr

Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler were shut down for about two months before manufacturing resumed on Monday, May 18. To ensure safe operation amid the health crisis, Ford and other automakers and suppliers imposed new safety measures, including screening employees who enter the building, mandating the use of face masks and face shields, and social distancing along the assembly line where possible.

Executives and analysts have warned that the industry's restart would be slow and complex, including the risk of infections popping up not only at the auto plants but also at supplier factories.

While the company did not indicate the source of the parts shortfall, a person familiar with the matter told the news agency that Lear Corporation, which supplies automotive seating and electrical systems, had closed a plant in Hammond, Indiana, due to a positive test. Ford said that production in Chicago was also set to resume mid-week. Production was halted to sanitize equipment. " If we consider the incubation period, these employees did not contract COVID-19 in the workplace, " the Ford spokesman insisted.

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