The American multinational automaker Ford said on Saturday that it will start testing for its employees to reopen the factories in Michigan. The major step help in detecting the employees with suspected COVID-19 symptoms in approx 4 metro areas where it has main operations as it prepares to restart the factories after the lockdown period this month.
The Dearborn, Michigan, headquarter automaker is accepted to restart production and a number of operations in Michigan from May 18. In addition to the factory workers, Ford is also planning to bring back its 12,000 employees whose jobs cannot be executed remotely. The American multinational automaker Ford officials said that they have started a contract with Beaumont Health to “quickly test hourly and salaried employees with suspected symptoms of COVID-19.” The main work that these employees execute is vehicle testing and design. Previously the company opened its distribution centers in North America on May 11.
Dr. Walter Talamonti, Ford Medical Director said that “Fast and accurate testing is a key tool in the effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Walter Talamonti, Ford Medical Director. “These contracts will allow us to test employees with suspected symptoms and have results back within 24 hours. If they test positive, we can quickly identify close contact employees who may have been exposed and ask them to self-quarantine for 14 days”- he added further.
To make the testing process fast the company said that it will initially use (PCR) testing to identify the infected employees if any. Polymerase chain reaction tests are generally used in labs to detect the presence of viral RNA, and this tests us not used to check the existence of the antibodies, which are the body’s immune reaction. The automaker employs over 72,000 persons in Southeast Michigan, Kansas City, Louisville, and Chicago.
The contract with Beaumont Health will allow the American multinational Ford automaker, Ford, to check employees with assumed symptoms with the purpose of getting results back in 24 hours, according to Dr. Walter Talamont, Ford medical director.
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In addition to the above, the medical director also revealed that Covid-19 testing of employees results will be simultaneously shared within 24 hours with Ford doctors to help classify other employees who may have been working in close with a Coroanavirus infected worker. The employees of the company with some symptoms will be allowed to self-quarantine for the next 14 days.
Ken Washington, Ford’s Chief Technology Officer said that- “We are working on quickly expanding testing of symptomatic employees,” “The health and safety of our employees have been – and remains – our top priority as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to expanding locations for these tests, we are also pursuing the possibility of voluntary antibody testing in the future for our employees”-he added further.
With all these steps the company is planning to resume production and operations in Michigan starting May 18. Along with testing the American multinational automaker has also introduced a return-to-work plan with some of its most modern safety and fitness protocols, which comprise necessary face masks for everybody entering a Ford service and no-touch temperature testing of all the employees while entering in the industry.
If all the things going in the right direction, the automaker company also expand Covid-19 testing to further locations in the future.