An employee at General Motors’ Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City has tested positive for COVID-19, the automaker confirmed this week.
GM said the employee contracted COVID-19 while outside of work and noted the risk to other employees of catching it from the person is low.
“We believe there is very little risk that anyone inside the plant has been exposed to the virus at work because everyone, including the individual, has been following our extensive, multi-layered health and safety procedures, which include wearing masks, hand washing and sanitizing, temperature screening and physical distancing,” GM spokeswoman Raven Henry told ABC affiliate KMBC this week.
GM began bringing its U.S. assembly plants back online on March 18th and is slowly ramping up production in line with vehicle demand. It has so far experienced a successful return, though the UAW has requested it shut down the Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri for 14 days after nine employees contracted COVID-19 there. GM believes it is safe to keep the plant open so long as employees follow its pre-set safety guidelines.
The automaker sent out a 40-page COVID-19 handbook last month informing employees of the various safety protocols it had put in place at its U.S. assembly plants and work facilities. Employees have their temperature taken when they arrive at work, are provided with CDC-approved PPE and are required to wipe their work stations between shift changes and job rotations. Social distancing measures are also in place where possible.
GM is currently manufacturing its own PPE for employees and outside healthcare providers at a former transmission plant in Warren, Michigan. It is also operating plants in Canada, Mexico and South America for providing employees in those markets with PPE for when they are at work.