KITCHENER -- Toyota will be extending its North American plant shutdown into the beginning of May.

A spokesperson for the company says the auto manufacturer will keep its facilities closed through May 1 and will resume production on May 4.

The company says the suspension is due to a decline in demand amid the pandemic.

"Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and decline in vehicle demand, Toyota is further extending the length of its production suspension at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the U.S.," the spokesperson said in an email.

Toyota has car manufacturing plants in Cambridge and Woodstock.

Service parts operations and logistics centres will reportedly stay open in the meantime to help customers.

Toyota first announced it would be suspending production in Cambridge and Woodstock temporarily back in mid-March, just after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 in Cambridge.

Then, the company extended the shutdown until April 6.

Toyota says that its permanent and contract employees have to use three paid time off days, but will otherwise have their full wages paid through the six-week production suspension.