CORONAVIRUS

Whirlpool temporarily closes Amana plant again over employees with coronavirus

Workers install compressors and fans on refrigerator units at Whirlpool Amana in this 2014 photo. (The Gazette)
Workers install compressors and fans on refrigerator units at Whirlpool Amana in this 2014 photo. (The Gazette)

Whirlpool Corp. temporarily has shut its Amana refrigerator plant for a second time, after some employees tested positive for coronavirus.

The company through a spokesman did not specify Wednesday when officials became aware of the new coronavirus cases, how many workers tested positive or how long the plant is projected to remain closed.

“The health and safety of our employees and the Amana community is our top priority, and out of an abundance of caution we are temporarily closing the Amana facility,” the spokesman said. “While the plant is closed we will be performing a deep cleaning of the facility. ... We are working with local health authorities to provide the necessary support for our colleagues and we are wishing them well.”

Whirlpool’s warehouse in North Liberty will remain open.

The company previously closed its Amana facility for a week in late March, after at least two employees tested positive for COVID-19.

“We can’t comment on specific employee situations in this case, but any action taken has been done with the health and safety of our employees as the first priority,” Whirlpool’s spokesman said.

The company said employees are practicing social distancing across its production lines, with barriers where social distancing is not possible.

Whirlpool also has closed its cafeteria, has carried out “heightened cleaning protocols,” plus hourly “glove cleaning” for employees, and is performing daily temperature checks for workers at all shifts.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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