SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Local gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson has temporarily suspended a work area at its Springfield location after learning an employee tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday.
In a news release to 22News, Elizabeth Sharp, spokeswoman for the Springfield-based factory’s parent company American Outdoor Brands said, the employee self-reported their test results Tuesday morning and is the first positive COVID-19 case at the facility.
To help minimize the potential spread of COVID-19, we worked with the employee who tested positive, to identify anyone that had been in close contact during the time the employee exhibited symptoms, and instructed those individuals to contact their medical provider and self-quarantine, in accordance with directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Elizabeth Sharp, Spokeswoman for American Outdoor Brands
The rest of the Springfield facility will remain open. The employee’s affected work area has been temporarily suspended so a deep cleaning according to CDC guidelines can be conducted.
On March 20, all employees who were able to work from home were ordered to do so in order to help minimize the potential spread of the virus. They also implemented a number of intensified cleaning and sanitizing protocols at the facility.
“Those intensified protocols are ongoing, and we continue to evaluate and modify them as appropriate and in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the CDC,” said Sharp.
Those protocols are listed below:
- Broad-spectrum foggers are being used to disinfect machines and surfaces on the manufacturing floor, in all common areas, and in other areas as needed
- Cleaning activities have been increased, utilizing anti-microbial agents identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as effective against the virus that causes COVID-19, and additional staff hired to do this critical work
- Social distancing is in place to the greatest extent possible in all workspaces, break rooms, and common areas
- Hand sanitizer stations are being monitored and filled more frequently
- Sanitizing wipes have been installed in all common areas
- New Security protocols have been implemented at security checkpoints, to limit crowds and eliminate unnecessary handling of containers and bags
- Arrivals and departures and breaks and lunch periods have been staggered, seating in common areas is limited, the gym, food service, and cafeterias have been closed, internal doors have been opened, and other steps are taken to limit crowding, improve social distancing, and reduce the risk of transmitting illness