TALLADEGA, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: MasterBrand Cabinets in Talladega is closing for two weeks after a third employee tested positive for COVID-19.
A MasterBrand spokesperson said: “On April 8, we learned a third employee at our Talladega facility has tested positive for COVID-19. After careful review of the potential exposure this may have had on our workforce, we decided to suspend operations in Talladega for two weeks, consistent with CDC guidelines.
While our thoughts are with these employees with confirmed cases and their families, we also want to continue to protect the health and wellbeing of the rest of our Talladega workforce. That means, effective immediately, all Talladega employees are being placed on furlough and are being strongly encouraged to remain at home and to continue taking social distancing measures as they monitor their health. To ensure continued health benefits, MasterBrand will pay the employee portion of employee’s healthcare premiums in addition to the company cost for the next two weeks of this shutdown. We’ll continue to evaluate this situation on a daily basis, but have every confidence our team in Talladega will get through this together.”
ORIGINAL: MasterBrand Cabinets, housed in the former Bemiston Mills in Talladega, stopped production Wednesday and sent workers home after an employee disclosed having contact with a COVID-19 patient.
A statement from the plant's owner, Fortune Brands Home & Security, says the employee was sent home to self-quarantine, and the rest of the workers were sent home to await further instruction.
The plant is being cleaned and disinfected and is expected to reopen tomorrow.
The statement says there are no COVID-19 cases among the plant employees, and the worker who had contact has not shown any symptoms.
The following is the statement from Fortune Brands Home & Security:
“The health and wellbeing of all our Fortune Brands associates and the communities in which we live and work is our top priority, and we’ve been implementing enhanced safety protocols—including deep cleaning and disinfecting work spaces—at all of our facilities to help prevent the spread of viral infections.
At this time, we have no reported cases of COVID-19 infections at our Talladega facility.
We did have an employee, who was not exhibiting symptoms of being ill, come forward today with concerns they may have come in contact with someone suspected of having the virus.
Out of an abundance of caution, we immediately sent the employee home to self-quarantine, the rest of the employees have returned to their homes to await further instruction, and we have brought in a third party to deep clean and disinfect the building. We expect to resume normal operations tomorrow.
We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the stringent safety measures we’ve put in place to combat the disease and to protect our employees and the communities in which we live and work.”