Workers at the General Motors Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri will once again have to wear their masks while on the job due to a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in the area.
In a memo sent to workers this week, the UAW Local 2250 union that represents workers at the plant said workers will have to don masks starting Monday night, although temperature screening at the facility will remain suspended for now.
“We have been informed by the company and UAW International that based on the severe upward trend of COVID cases in the surrounding areas all GM Wentzville Assembly Center employees will be once again required to wear masks upon entering the plant starting tonight with third shift employees,” the memo said.
GM spokesman David Barnas told that “the health and safety of our team members will continue to dictate our COVID 19 protocols,” suggesting GM’s COVID-19 protocols could change often as cases rise and fall in certain areas.
According to The Detroit Free Press, southwestern Missouri has had the nation’s largest outbreak of COVID-19 recently. As of July 13th, the seven-day average of new cases in Missouri was near 1,400 positive cases per day – up more than 150 percent from one month ago.
The Wentzville Assembly plant, located about 40 miles west of St. Louis, builds the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups, as well as the Chevy Express and GMC Savana utility vans. Approximately 3,399 employees work there across three shifts.
Other GM plans in the U.S. continue to operate without mask requirements for employees, although this could change if cases continue to rise nationwide. The UAW dropped its mask requirements for Ford, GM and Stellantis workers on July 12th.