Employee at Cambridge Toyota plant tests positive for COVID-19
KITCHENER -- An employee at the Toyota plant in Cambridge who works in its plastics maintenance department has tested positive for COVID-19.
The company confirmed the news to CTV News Kitchener on Thursday morning.
According to a memo sent to employees on Wednesday and obtained by CTV News Kitchener , the employee was last at work on March 12 and has not been back on the job since testing positive for the virus.
The company originally said it would stop production in that part of the plant to clean maintenance areas and common areas in the shop.
Employees working in other parts of the plant confirmed to CTV News Kitchener that they were sent home with pay at 11 p.m. on Wednesday.
On Thursday afternoon, though, the company announced that it would be suspending production at the Cambridge and Woodstock plants effective Thursday afternoon, with plans to reopen on April 6.
That's alongside a production suspension extending from Mexico to Canada that will begin on March 23.
Others said they just hope everyone will be alright.
"I'm not asking to know who he is, but I hope him and his family are okay and I hope the rest of our families are okay," employee James Tobin told CTV on Wednesday night.
For the Thursday morning shift, employees say that operations in the rest of the plant are running as normal for the Thursday morning shift.
Region of Waterloo Public Health tells CTV News Kitchener that the employee was not a Waterloo Region case.
A spokesperson for Toyota says that they were notified by Hamilton Public Health that one of their team members at the company's Cambridge North Plant had tested positive for COVID-19.
That employee's last shift worked was March 12, the spokesperson says.
"Since then, the individual has been off work, taking action to minimize risk to others," a statement reads in part.
"Our affected employee - as well as those identified as having had close contact with the individual - will remain in self-isolation and will not return to work until being cleared by a physician."
The company says it will be doing a deep clean of the plant and disinfecting all areas where employees were working.
According to the Hamilton Public Health website, the city has seen 19 cases of COVID-19 so far. It's not yet clear how the person contracted the virus.
Two confirmed cases in Hamilton were listed on the province's website on March 18: a male in his 70s and a woman in her 30s.
They been contracted the virus while travelling.
The positive case comes after Toyota confirmed on Wednesday that it would be temporarily suspending production at its plants in Cambridge and Woodstock.
The company said at the time that all of its automobile and components parts plants in North America will shut down March 23 and Mach 24, with production set to resume on March 25.
During this time, the automaker said it would conduct a thorough cleaning of all its manufacturing facilities during the shutdown.
This is a developing story. More to come...