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GM Is Closing Plants to Visitors Amid Coronavirus Concerns

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GM Closing Plants to Visitors
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Photo: General Motors

To say that the global outbreak of COVID-19 is making headlines would be an understatement. The virus is currently the biggest news story in the world, and the race to stop its spread continues. Amid its effects on the economy, car companies are beginning to enact protocols to keep their plants and workers safe. The latest news is that GM is closing plants to visitors who show symptoms of the virus.

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Will closing plants to visitors stop the spread?

The reason why GM is closing plants to visitors with worrying symptoms is pretty self-explanatory. Coronavirus is easily transmitted and has begun popping up all across the country. If a visitor to a GM plant were to pass the virus on to a worker, it could snowball into a dire situation. Sick workers could lead to closed plants and decreased productivity, and go on to affect the automotive industry at large. Obviously, this isn’t something that GM plans to let happen.

Effective immediately, GM will begin screening potential visitors before allowing them access. Visitors will be asked if they have visited such countries as China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea or Spain in the past 14 days, or if they’ve experienced any cold or flu symptoms within that time. Answering yes to any of these questions results in immediate denied access.

Taking it seriously

The news of GM’s new protocol for visitors broke the same day a worker at a Chrysler plant in Kokomo, Indiana, was identified as having the virus. “The UAW has been actively monitoring and reacting to issues related to the spread of COVID-19,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada in statement on March 12. “We are working closely with FCA on this first discovery of the virus at one of their facilities as well as on the precautions and measures necessary to protect our UAW FCA members and everyone who works in our facilities.”

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GM has reported that these preventative measures – including a more thorough daily cleaning of each facility – have yet to disrupt productivity. With any luck, these safeguards will continue to be effective for the company and its workers.