FARGO — An employee at the Case New Holland plant has tested positive for COVID-19.
The news was shared with employees May 12 via internal notice and confirmed by company officials May 13.
The plant, located at 3401 1st Ave. N., manufactures large tracked and four-wheel-drive tractors for the agricultural sector, as well as wheel loaders for the construction sector. It employs approximately 600 workers.
“This is to inform you that an employee within our Fargo Operations has recently contracted the Coronavirus,” according to the notice. “Those who work near the employee or have been in recent contact were immediately informed, and, as a precautionary measure, have been asked to self-quarantine at home for the next 14 days. To minimize any presence of the virus, we are thoroughly sanitizing all areas of the building where the employee has been present.”
The notice further encourages employees to “strictly adhere” to all health and safety protocols, including handwashing, social distancing, and “suitable face coverings.”
The plant, which reopened on May 5 with new safety measures in place after negotiations with union leaders, had many employees cautious and even wary about returning. As reported at the time, what they most feared were unsafe working conditions and an outbreak of the virus.
"The employee is currently in quarantine at home," according to Manager of Corporate Communications Rebecca Fabian. "In coordination with Fargo Cass Public Health, we have been following our safety and health protocols notifying employees at the site and are carefully monitoring the situation. We have also conducted an additional deep-cleaning of the work area. The health and wellbeing of our entire workforce is our top priority. Guided by local and national health and government directives, we have expanded our already extensive measures to ensure a safe working environment for our employees as well as to help in the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
Fabian said measures include, but are not limited to, intensive sanitization of work and communal employee areas, implementing social distancing guidelines, as well as modified production processes and operation schedules.