Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Chrysler Group headquarters
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The first-known employee of a Detroit automaker to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in the U.S. works at a Fiat Chrysler plant in Indiana, company and union officials confirmed Thursday.
The unnamed male employee at the Kokomo Transmission Plant, located about 50 miles north of Indianapolis, is currently quarantined and receiving medical care, according to Fiat Chrysler and the United Auto Workers union, which represents workers at the plant.
A Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman said the company was notified of the employee testing positive for the disease on Wednesday. Production at the plant continues as normal, she said.
Officials with the company and union said they are working with local representatives at the plant to support the treatment of the employee and taking measures to monitor and protect other workers.
An undisclosed amount of the others who may have come into direct contact with the person also have been quarantined, according to the company.
“Consistent with CDC guidelines and the company’s own protocols, the company has placed into home quarantine his immediate co-workers and others in the facility he may have come into direct contact with,” Fiat Chrysler said in an emailed statement. “Additionally, the company has deep cleaned and disinfected his working area and is deploying additional sanitization measures across the entire facility, retiming break times to avoid crowding and deploying social spacing.”
UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who oversees Fiat Chrysler workers, said the union “will continue communications with FCA on measures that may need to be taken as this very serious situation changes daily and hourly.”
“Our thoughts and support are with our UAW member and their family, friends and community in Kokomo, Indiana,” she said in a release. “The UAW has been actively monitoring and reacting to issues related to the spread of COVID-19.”
Ford Motor has identified three non-domestic employees with the disease. Two were located in China, another was in Germany, according to a company spokesman.
A spokesman for General Motors said Thursday that the company is not aware of any of their workers contracting COVID-19.