Just as Ford is announcing that it hopes to reopen its North American production facilities starting on April 6th, the automaker has also said that one of the Kentucky Truck Plant employees has tested positive for COVID-19. The manager of the Kentucky Truck Plant has told workers that he doesn’t believe there is a “current risk” of the virus remaining in the building because the plant is currently being cleaned and sanitized. The plant currently employs more than 8000 people.
The main products built at the plant include the Ford Super Duty pickups, Ford Expedition, and the Lincoln Navigator. The top union official at the truck plant, Alan Hughes of UAW Local 862, issued a memo to workers yesterday that said that the worker believes they contracted the virus while outside the plant. However, the worker did report being in “direct contact with four employees while at work.”
Plant manager Andrew Tapp says that Ford has “identified and alerted” the four people who had direct contact with the infected person. Ford is also contacted those who may have had close contact with that direct contact group. The secondary group of people were instructed to self-quarantine for two weeks.
With coronavirus being highly contagious, even if the virus was contracted by the employee outside of the factory, the person would’ve certainly been infectious while at work. Ford was already in the process of cleaning the factory when the report was made. Ford North America president Kumar Galhotra announced earlier today that Ford was currently aiming to reopen the Kentucky Truck Plant along with several other facilities on April 14th. The executive did say that the automaker was keeping an eye on conditions and would be following state guidelines meaning that opening-day could be pushed back further.