WAYNE, Mich. – A worker from Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne has died from coronavirus (COVID-19), officials announced Wednesday.
According to the United Auto Workers union, the employee died Tuesday.
As of Wednesday, Michigan has had 337 COVID-19-related deaths.
Read UAW President Rory Gamble’s full letter below:
"I want to start this message by, again, thanking my UAW family for your strength and your support of your communities and families as we all work through this terrible crisis together. I’m very sad to report that we had one more UAW member fall to the virus yesterday, from Ford Michigan Assembly in Wayne, Michigan. I want to extend our sincere sympathies to family and friends.
"For the courageous UAW members who are still going to work — I know that you are worried and sometimes unclear as to what will be happening with your workplaces. I want to try to address these concerns.
"First and foremost, the UAW is working with companies in all of our sectors to advocate for the health and safety of all members in the workplace. While the media tends to focus on automotive assembly, our International Representatives have been pushing all companies to follow and go above and beyond Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for workplace protections during this pandemic. We have members in Public Health; Parts Distribution Centers; Agricultural Implement; and Department of Defense Contractors.
"We have told companies that the only litmus test in a boardroom that matters is whether you would send your own family, your own sons and daughters, to work and feel they are safe.
"That said, depending on the type of work our members do, there are often some federal guidelines defining essential services that require some businesses to operate. In those cases, we push management to either go to a volunteer paid system, or if that is not possible, we push for highly stringent CDC guidelines and protections to be followed to protect all members.
"It is our goal that you go home to your families each and every day healthy and safe. And rest assured, we are pushing hard with management to go above and beyond CDC guidelines.
"And to all the men and women on the front lines of this pandemic, please know we recognize your sacrifice and your courageous dedication.
"Please continue to support one another and adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV. Please watch for updates and submit questions that you may have about your worksite at UAW (https://uaw.org/coronavirus/).
“Please know, on behalf of myself and the entire International Executive Board, we are fighting every day for our communities and our UAW family. We are all in this together.”
How COVID-19 Spreads
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.
Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How easily the virus spreads
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.
Prevention & Treatment
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.