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Ford announces COVID-19 testing for employees just ahead of reopening in Michigan

Ford will test symptomatic employees for COVID-19 in southeastern Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois

Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (William Walker/CNN)

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Company announced Saturday that it will test symptomatic employees for COVID-19 in southeastern Michigan to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as employees return to work.

May 16, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 50,504; Death toll now at 4,880

Ford officials say that contracts have been signed with Beaumont Health to “quickly test hourly and salaried employees with suspected symptoms of COVID-19."

“Fast and accurate testing is a key tool in the effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Walter Talamonti, Ford Medical Director. “These contracts will allow us to test employees with suspected symptoms and have results back within 24 hours. If they test positive, we can quickly identify close contact employees who may have been exposed and ask them to self-quarantine for 14 days.”

Officials say employees with COVID-19 symptoms will receive a prescription for a test from Ford’s onsite doctors, allowing them to undergo a test with Beaumont Health. Ford employs about 46,000 workers in the southeastern Michigan region.

MORE: ‘This is going to be one of the safest place to be,’ Ford CEO says before reopening Monday

The news comes just before Ford employees who can’t work remotely begin returning to work on Monday as part of Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan.

READ: Ford plans to resume operations, production on May 18 -- here’s everything we know

Whitmer’s multi-phased plan to reopen the economy included reopening the manufacturing industry beginning May 11 -- which includes Ford as well as General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Ford is also implementing this testing process for employees in Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois. You can read their full announcement here.

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