Coronavirus: Fiat Chrysler worker in Indiana tests positive for virus

A worker at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s transmission plant in Kokomo, Indiana, has tested positive for the coronavirus, but production at the facility is continuing.

File photo used for representational purpose (AP)
File photo used for representational purpose

The worker is receiving medical care and those who worked near him or may have come in contact with him have been put in home quarantine, Jodi Tinson, a company spokeswoman, said in an email Thursday.

Fiat Chrysler declined to provide the worker’s name, age or other personal information such as his recent travel history for privacy reasons.

The car maker has disinfected his work station and is sanitizing the entire plant. Output is running at a normal pace, but the company is adjusting break times to avoid crowding and deploying social spacing to increase distances between workers.

The United Auto Workers is “working closely" with Fiat Chrysler on measures necessary to protect its members, vice-president Cindy Estrada said in a statement.

Just last week, Fiat Chrysler’s chief operations officer for North America, Mark Stewart, visited Kokomo to christen a new investment at an idled transmission plant that will be repurposed for engine production.

He said the company’s crisis teams were monitoring supply chain risk and that travel had been severely curtailed due to the coronavirus threat, but that things were “progressing OK."

After Michigan announced its first coronavirus cases on Wednesday, Fiat Chrysler said it would limit in-person meetings and rely on video conferencing and block visitors from countries with acute virus outbreaks.

The Italian-American company also said Wednesday it may have to close some parts factories in northern Italy to support a nationwide campaign to contain the virus. It also is slowing production at some plants there to enable greater spacing between workers.

First Published Date: 13 Mar 2020, 10:59 AM IST
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