Boeing suspends Seattle, amid COVID-19 outbreak (Reports).
Boeing announced Monday they are temporarily shutting down their Puget Sound production operations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The shutdown will last 14 days starting March 25 and will affect tens of thousands of people.
The announcement comes a day after The Seattle Times reported that a worker at Boeing’s Everett plant died from coronavirus.
A Boeing spokeperson has not confirmed the Seattle’ Times’ report.
“We are taking steps to confirm this information while respecting the individuals and the families’ privacy,” a Boeing spokesperson said.
KOMO News spoke with Lionel Washington who said his brother, Elton, died from coronavirus. He told us he found out his brother was in the Intensive Care Unit Tuesday.
Elton, a single dad, worked for Boeing for 28 years, Washington said.
“I was just blown away, Washington said. “I was nervous. I got the call that just, ‘oh my god.’ I don’t wish on anyone it is a nightmare that does not stop. It is a complete nightmare some days are better than others. He was everything. He was my hero he taught me everything.”
Twenty-five workers based in the Puget Sound region have also tested positive for the virus as of Monday, according to Boeing.
Boeing said in a press release that the actions are being taken to “ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community.”
The company said they will begin reducing production activity Monday and expect the full suspension of operations to begin on Wednesday.
There are more than 70,000 Boeing employees in the Puget Sound region.
Boeing operates two huge commercial aviation production facilities in the Seattle area, one in Everett and another in Renton. Its Everett facility, north of Seattle, is the largest building in the world and produces airplanes like the 787 and 777. About 30,000 people work there.
Its plant in Renton, south of Seattle, produces the 737 line. About 12,000 workers help assemble planes there.