GM Tech Center closes in Michigan after employee tests positive for coronavirus

The building is expected to re-open Tuesday

General Motors has shut down a building at its Tech Center in Warren, Mich., after an employee tested positive for coronavirus. 

GM learned of the positive test result late Monday and immediately began steps to contain any potential spread to other employees. 

The Detroit Free Press reported early Tuesday that GM ordered the Cole Engineering Center closed after the result was reported. The building will undergo a remediation process and GM expects to re-open it again before the end of the day. 

The Warren technical center houses about 20,000 employees. The employee who tested positive works at the engineering center on the tech center campus north of Detroit.

GM said its medical team is working to speak with co-workers who may have had direct contact with the employee, and they will be told to self-quarantine for 14 days.

GM joined Ford and FCA last week in establishing a task force to tackle pandemic concerns within the domestic auto industry. 

Though automakers typically schedule plant staffing to allow for a certain proportion of absent workers, according to industry consultants, if the outbreak causes higher levels due to infection or workers staying home to care for children whose schools are closed, that could lead to reduced production or in extreme cases shutdowns.

Production at an FCA assembly plant in Canada was halted for 24 hours after employees there refused to work on Thursday over fears of an employee being possibly exposed to the coronavirus.

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