Jet maker Boeing sent 11 people home and ordered its 777 airliner assembly line sanitized after a single worker fell ill Wednesday at its Everett, Washington, plant.
“Boeing is monitoring the situation closely and taking prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of our employees and their families,” a company press release states.
The company’s actions come in the wake of spreading concern about the coronavirus and its potential effect on workplace productivity. In the case of the Everett facility, Boeing sent home one worker exhibiting flu-like symptoms as well as 10 other working in close contact with the sick worker.
Washington state has been a center of concern about coronavirus in the U.S. with 70 cases reported and 11 deaths to date.
Located north of Seattle, the Everett facility ranks as the largest enclosed manufacturing building on earth, covering more than 98 acres. More than 30,000 people work at Boeing Everett.
The statement released by Boeing stresses that company travel has been restricted to business-essential trips. Face-to-face meetings have been reduced in favor of virftual meetings. Telecommuting is being arranged when possible.
“These measures are temporary and aimed to prevent the spread of the virus, shorten its impact and ensure the health and safety of our employyees as well as the general public,” the statement reads. “We will continue to adapt our approach as needed as the situation evolves and additional government guidance is issued.”