TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) — A package manufacturing company has confirmed two COVID-19 cases within its Terre Haute facility.
A company spokesperson for Amcor said it’s believed the cases are unrelated and likely contracted outside of the plant. Both employees who tested positive are quarantining as they recover.
Tuesday evening, News 10 spoke with Mark Hein, Director of Communications for Amcor Flexibles of North America. Hein said as an essential business, the company has taken a defensive posture to put precautionary measures in place to keep plants operating while ensuring the health and safety of employees. These measures include frequent cleaning, social distancing, and working in cellularized groups — having staff work with same people on a regular basis. The company says it is following and exceeding recommendations from the CDC to reinforce social distancing and good personal hygiene.
In addition, Hein said Amcor has a confirmed case action plan that has included simulations in order to try to quickly and effectively respond to cases when they arise. There are also protocols before allowing patients to return to work. Hein also said suspected cases are treated as positive until otherwise determined.
Viewers asked News 10 about face masks and other face coverings at the facility. In a follow-up email, we asked Hein about this concern. He said Amcor currently does not require face masks at the workplace, unless it is required by local regulation. Those wishing to wear face coverings may do so, provided it doesn't create a safety risk. He also noted many medical grade masks are currently going to healthcare workers. "Currently, we cannot commit to providing masks in light of the severe worldwide shortage of supply and the priority for medical professionals," Hein wrote in the email.
Amcor creates packaging for food, hygiene items, and other products.