LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Ford will offer COVID-19 testing to symptomatic employees at the Kentucky Truck Plant and Louisville Assembly Plant, according to a news release from the company. 

Ford aims to begin a phased restart of operations at its plants as soon as Monday, May 18 and hopes its testing initiative will help curb the spread of the respiratory illness among its employees, officials said in the release. 

Employees at the Louisville-based plants who exhibit symptoms of the novel coronavirus "will be asked to immediately schedule a telemedicine appointment with a doctor," who will then prescribe a COVID-19 test "if necessary," according to the news release.

Officials aim to have tests results back to employees and the company doctors "within 24 hours," the release says. Ford's doctors will then "quickly identify others who were in close contact with infected employees and immediately have them self-quarantine for 14 days." 

Ford will conduct its testing through University of Louisville Health, the company said. 

"The health and safety of our employees has been – and remains – our top priority as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic," said Ken Washington, Ford’s Chief Technology Officer, in the news release. "In addition to expanding locations for these tests, we are also pursuing the possibility of voluntary antibody testing in the future for our employees.”

Ford has also released a "Manufacturing Return to Work Playbook," which outlines new health and safety protocols employees will be asked to follow as production resumes. The guidelines include no-touch temperature scans of employees upon arrival and requiring face masks for everyone entering a Ford facility. 

COVID-19 testing will also be offered to Ford employees exhibiting symptoms at plants in Michigan, Missouri and Illinois, the company said. 

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