DENSO is halting operations at its Statesville location, stating the move is in order to clean the facility and protect employees from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We can confirm that our North Carolina operations will temporarily suspend on March 23-24 for the safety of our employees and to allow for disinfection of the facility,” company spokesperson Andrew Rickerman wrote in an email Monday.
He further stated that to adjust to customer production changes and support social distancing among employees, many of DENSO’s North American facilities are either stopping or slowing production effective Monday.
“Production stoppage durations will vary across locations based on circumstances at each,” he said. “The company will reevaluate operations to assess risk and customer situations prior to resuming production.”
A separate release on the manufacturer’s website stated the following:
“Additionally, each location will utilize a limited number of on-site employees, depending on location-specific requirements. At this time, DENSO strives to keep in-person headcount as low as possible — to support social distancing, minimize employees’ exposure to germs and enhance facility cleanings.
“To date, one DENSO employee, based at its North American headquarters in Southfield, Michigan, has tested positive for COVID-19. After learning of the case, DENSO immediately disinfected the areas where the individual worked; notified individuals who were in close contact with the affected individual, and advised them to self-quarantine for 14 days.”
Other moves by the company in response to the virus include:
» Aggressively increasing sanitation at its facilities.
» Advising employees who can work from home do so.
» Tightened travel and visitor policies.
» Adherence to CDC guidelines.
Iredell County has reported eight cases of the coronavirus, or COVID-19; statewide numbers are around 300 cases as of Monday.
DENSO Manufacturing North Carolina, formerly ASMO North Carolina, Inc., produces blower motors, power seat motors, power window motors and other power systems, according to the company website.