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Koyo Bearings in Cairo will remain closed the rest of this week with plans to reopen on Monday after a thorough cleaning of the facility is complete. At least three associates have tested positive for COVID-19, according to spokeswoman Tyra Sitton with JTEKT North America, operator of the Cairo facility.
“While there is no indication these associates were exposed to the virus at the facility, plant management is nevertheless taking action to disinfect the plant,” states a press release from JTEKT. “A third party cleaning service was immediately contracted to clean the plant using C.D.C. approved COVID-19-disinfecting chemicals.”
In March, facility managers began to implement safety measures following C.D.C. guidelines, including temperature checks for associates, social distancing in work and break areas, and hand sanitizing stations around the plant, according to JTEKT.
Koyo management prepared action plans in the event an associate either self-identified as ill or tested positive for COVID-19, the JTEKT release states. When plant manager Scott Cline learned of the first associate testing positive on Monday, April 6, the plant closed.
The JTEKT release states, “Expert consensus is that late April will be the apex for confirmed cases in Georgia, and as the local community is aware, Cairo is geographically close to one of the largest COVID-19 hotspots in the U.S.,” Albany and Dougherty County.
“Recognizing this situation may worry our team members, we remain committed to open and timely communication, and to continue to take measures to do our part to stop the spread of the virus,” said Cline. “Our first priority is the health of our associates, and our sincerest thoughts are with those recovering.”
Koyo Bearings produces bearings for automotive and industrial use.