As the COVID-19 novel coronavirus continues to spread across the US state of South Carolina, Boeing has decided to temporarily close its large airliner factory in North Charleston.
“It is our commitment to focus on the health and safety of our teammates while assessing the spread of the virus across the state, its impact on the reliability of our global supply chain and that ripple effect on the 787 program,” Brad Zaback, vice president and general manager of the 787 Program and Boeing South Carolina site leader, said in a Monday news release. “We are working in alignment with state and local government officials and public health officials to take actions that best protect our people.”
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Palmetto State had confirmed 2,232 cases of the novel coronavirus as of Monday, as well as 48 deaths thus far.
The Boeing factory there makes 787 passenger airliners and employs about 7,000 people. The release notes that those who can continue their work remotely will do so, but others who work on the factory floor will received paid leave.
Boeing has already shuttered is other massive factories in Washington state and in Pennsylvania, though those closures were only announced for two-week periods; Monday's release does not state a time duration for the South Carolina factory's closure.