BMW Manufacturing confirmed Thursday that 14 employees have COVID-19.
Production continues but those employees are now in quarantine and the areas where they worked have undergone a “deep and thorough disinfecting process,” according to a news release.
BMW Manufacturing says the cases were not related to one another.
“The health and safety of all persons working at BMW Manufacturing has always been our top priority,” the news release said. “Since restarting production on May 4, numerous safety procedures have been implemented according to the recommendations of state and local governments and health authorities. The company also adheres to strict case management and quarantine guidelines to protect the entire workforce and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
BMW Manufacturing originally planned to close the plant for 16 days starting April 3 in response to a widening COVID-19 response, but as the pandemic changed, so did their plans. When the company’s extensive supply chain was disrupted by other closures across the country, the plant halted production March 29.
The plant relies on more than 300 U.S. suppliers — 40 of them in South Carolina — to build cars.
“During the non-production time, BMW implemented a variety of deep cleaning and safety measures,” the company said in a news release before reopening. “This included disinfecting equipment in all technologies, sanitizing workstations, remodeling layouts to enhance social distancing and completing preventive maintenance on equipment.”
New guidelines and procedures have been implemented at the plant to help mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus, including temperature self-checks, modified seating for cafeteria and office areas, staggered lunch schedules and expanded cleaning practices, the release said. Face masks are required for anyone who cannot maintain a six-foot distance from others.
When the plant is operating at full capacity, more than 11,000 people work in 7 million square feet of space at the Spartanburg County plant. Before the pandemic, they were making 1,500 cars a day, according to a BMW fact sheet.