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Ford Media Center
DEARBORN, Mich., July 10, 2020 – Ford today announced it has signed contracts with health systems in two Ohio plant cities with major company facilities to quickly test hourly and salaried employees with suspected symptoms of COVID-19.
In the Cleveland area, where Ford’s Ohio Assembly Plant and Cleveland Engine Plant are located, Ford will work with University Hospitals for testing. In Lima, Ford’s Lima Engine Plant employees will be tested through Lima Memorial Hospital.
“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 as fast as 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.”
In the Cleveland area, where Ford plants employ approximately 3,500 people in total, employees who exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19 will be provided direct referrals the Fever Clinics at University Hospitals. The University Hospitals clinics located in Avon and Brook Park will evaluate those employees for potential COVID-19 and provide COVID-19 testing when appropriate.
In Lima, where Ford’s engine plant employs approximately 1,500 people, employees who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to go to the designated COVID-19 swab testing area at Lima Memorial Hospital to conduct a roadside test.
In all locations, the goal is to have results available within 24 hours.
Testing results will be simultaneously shared with Ford doctors in order to quickly identify others who may have been in close contact with infected employees in the workplace and immediately have them self-quarantine for 14 days.
“Quickly identifying people in the workplace with COVID-19 is important as we work to prevent the spread of the virus in our facilities,” said Ken Washington, Ford’s Chief Technology Officer. “The health and safety of our employees has been – and remains – our top priority as we navigate this COVID-19 pandemic.”
Ford is currently focused on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, which identifies if someone is actively infected. PCR tests are used to detect the presence of viral RNA, not the presence of the antibodies, which are the body’s immune response.
“Fast, accurate tests work hand-in-hand with personal protection equipment and protocols to create a safe environment for our workforce,” said Gary Johnson, Ford’s Chief Manufacturing and Labor Affairs Officer. “We are proud to partner with the UAW to develop safety protocols to help keep our workforce safe.”
These testing contracts are in addition to the existing agreements Ford announced last month in four major metro areas, including Southeast Michigan and the Louisville, Kansas City and Chicago areas.
To guide the workforce with the new health and safety protocols, Ford compiled a comprehensive Manufacturing Return to Work Playbook to help protect its workforce, assembled using best practices and input from experts around the world. Those protocols are constantly evolving as we learn more about the virus. Some of the safety protocols include:
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification; mobility solutions, including self-driving services; and connected services. Ford employs approximately 188,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.