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COVID-19 Pandemic: Ford Shut Spanish Factory for 1 Week, Asks Staff to Work from Home

Ford logo
(Image Source: Reuters)

Ford logo (Image Source: Reuters)

Ford's factory in eastern Valencia in Spain employs over 7,000 workers and produces over 400,000 vehicles a year.

Ford said on Sunday it would shut its Spanish plant in the eastern region of Valencia for one week starting on Monday after three employees tested positive for coronavirus. "We have had three positive cases of COVID-19 in the Ford Valencia plant in the past 24 hours," the company said, adding it was following protocol by isolating all employees that had contact with the infected workers. The plant, one of Ford's largest outside the United States, employs over 7,000 workers and produces over 400,000 vehicles a year including the Mondeo and Galaxy models.

Ford will shift most of its global white-collar workforce outside China, where recovery has begun, to working remotely, CEO James Hackett said in an email to employees. "In recent days ... we’ve concluded the coronavirus issue has taken on a different dimension – and we need to be proactive to keep our people safe and help limit the spread of the virus in the communities where we live and work," he said.

Ford's Hackett told employees that in the event a worker tests positive for the virus they will be told to get medical attention and self-quarantine at home. Ford will identify others who may have been in contact with that person and instruct them to seek medical attention and self-quarantine for 14 days. He added Ford will close any facility exposed to a confirmed case, and a spokeswoman confirmed that includes manufacturing plants.

However, Ford has seen "limited" impact to its global operations due to the epidemic, with some employees testing positive for the virus in China and Germany but none so far in the United States, spokesman Mark Truby said.