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UAW: 2 more Michigan autoworkers die from coronavirus (COVID-19)

State death toll is 417

UAW logo (WDIV)
UAW logo (WDIV)

LIVONIA, Mich. – Two more Michigan autoworkers have died from coronavirus (COVID-19), the United Auto Workers union announced Thursday.

April 2 update -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 10,791; Death toll now at 417

According to the union, one of the workers was from the MOPAR Packaging Plant in Center Line and the other was from the Ford Transmission Plant in Livonia.

Below is a letter from UAW President Rory Gamble:

A short message today to recognize the courageous men and women stepping up to help all of us during these difficult days. As you all know, we have many members on the front lines of this crisis, who report to work every day and put their lives at risk to keep our communities safe and functioning. And we have members who are stepping up and volunteering to help save lives in so many ways.

But before I share some of these stories, I must share some sad news. Today, we lost two more members of our UAW family to this virus, a member who worked at the MOPAR Centerline, Michigan, Packaging plant, and a member at the Ford Livonia, Michigan, Transmission plant. On behalf of the President’s Office and the entire International Executive Board, we extend our deepest sympathies and support to the families and friends.

But we also saw some positive news. Training at the GM Kokomo facility is underway to keep our members safe as they courageously volunteer to make life-saving ventilators. We have been working very closely with GM to ensure that stringent CDC health and safety protocols are put in place to keep our UAW members safe and healthy as they provide this critical service that will save countless lives.

UAW members from FCA and Ford are also volunteering their time and stepping up to help our nation with community efforts and the production of much needed Personal Protective Equipment. We are working with all these companies to ensure that our members are safe as they step up, as they have always done, to help our families, our communities and our nation in this time of need.

There are many stories of our members doing good works in this extraordinary time. For example, a member in Region 1 has started a Facebook relief page so he can deliver masks and other critical supplies to people in need. And that is only one story. There are so many more. I think these individual stories are important for all of us to see and to celebrate during this time. It reminds us that we are strong, and we must stay hopeful and vigilant. We are featuring these members at ‘Heroes on the Front Lines’, a new segment on our digital channels. It’s just a way to remind us all of who we are and who we have always been.

I will end with this: 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.

Watch for updates and submit questions that you may have about your worksite at UAW (https://uaw.org/coronavirus/).

And remember, we are all in this together.

MORE: What the CDC says you should do if you believe you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

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.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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