LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Ford Motor Co. worker in Louisville has contracted the novel coronavirus a little more than a week after the automaker’s two local plants restarted following a two-month shutdown.
The worker with the confirmed case is employed at Kentucky Truck Plant in eastern Jefferson County, the larger of the two plants by employment, and was last at the plant on May 21, according to a union memo dated Wednesday.
The infection was confirmed Tuesday, according to the memo.
Ford followed the new protocol for virus cases in its “Return to Work” plan, according to the UAW Local 862 memo, including figuring out who was in contact with the worker and instructing those “close contacts” to quarantine for 14 days.
"The safety of our workforce is our top priority," Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said in a statement to WDRB News. "Working closely with the UAW and external experts in infectious disease and epidemiology, we have developed safety standards to protect our workforce. We follow those protocols at all Ford facilities globally."
Kentucky Truck Plant and Louisville Assembly Plant restarted on May 18 at a reduced workload.
At Kentucky Truck, which is running two production crews instead of the normal three, about 5,700 of the roughly 8,500 hourly workers have been called back to work, UAW Local 862 building chairman Allen Hughes told WDRB earlier this month.
Todd Dunn, president of UAW Local 862, told WDRB last week that it was only a matter of time before workers contract the highly contagious virus, whether on the job or in the community.
“It will happen,” Dunn said.