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As Ford reopens, new protocols added to keep workers safe from COVID-19 infections, spread

The company is also providing COVID-19 testing for employees experiencing coronavirus symptoms, with a goal of quickly determining who must self-quarantine.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —

Ford is reopening its doors with new protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

After roughly two months without work, thousands of Ford workers are back in Louisville. Their return means more cleaning and more protective equipment to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Among their safety measures:

  • employee and visitor health checks before people can even enter the building,
  • face masks
  • fiberglass shields for workers who are within six feet of each other
  • more time for cleaning

RELATED: When will Kentucky Ford workers get back to work?

The company is also providing COVID-19 testing for employees experiencing coronavirus symptoms, with a goal of quickly determining who must self-quarantine.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic," said Louisville Metro Councilman David James.

James said over the last couple of months, he’s spoken with 15 Ford employees, who were initially scared about going back to work.

“I’ve talked to many of those same people over the last couple days and they feel a lot better about the things that are in place at Ford to try and keep everybody safe," he said.

Charlie Chesbrough, a senior economist at Cox Automotive researching the impact of COVID-19 on the auto industry, said reopening won’t be easy. 

“It’s a whole new world for the industry," Chesbrough said. 

He said there may be major delays getting back up to speed as auto manufacturers have taken a huge hit. 

“We saw daily sales fall anywhere from 70 to 90 percent below where they were last year in many markets around the country," he said. 

Despite the uncertainty, Ford workers we spoke with said they’re relieved for a steady paycheck and will make safety a priority.  

As Ford's Louisville plants were closed for about two months, Ford workers in Michigan were busy making face masks and shields for people on the front line, and for their coworkers. A Ford spokesperson said that protective equipment is now being used in Louisville. 

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