KITCHENER -- Toyota has decided to postpone the ramping-up of its North American manufacturing operations.

Initially scheduled to begin on May 4, the company has opted to push that deadline back a week.

A spokesperson for Toyota Canada says the decision was "based on an extensive review" with its suppliers and logistics network.

Production was originally suspended on March 23 and was initially slated to last only a couple of days, but that turned into a North America-wide plant shutdown that stretched for weeks.

It affected plants in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

The company said at the time that the decision was made to protect its employees, the community and also because of a "significant market decline" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around that time, at least one employee had tested positive for the virus.

A total of three people who work at the company's Cambridge plant have tested positive for COVID-19.

On April 16, Toyota confirmed that a few hundred employees had already been asked to return to work: team leaders and maintenance staff were tasked with ensuring the facilities are functional and safe when production resumes.

The company had previously said that new protocols had been implemented at all North American plants to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.