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Employee at Columbia factory tests positive for COVID-19


An employee of the Gates Corporation factory in Columbia has tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee, who works second shift, is receiving medical care and will remain quarantined, the company said in a statement.

"Work was immediately suspended in the relevant area of the facility until it could be disinfected," the company said. "Any additional Gates employees identified as having close contact within the 48 hours prior to the positive-tested individual’s last day of work are self-isolating for at least 14 days. These employees are on paid leave during the time they are in isolation."

The statement says Gates, a multinational company that makes transmission belts and fluid power products, already had policies in place for COVID-19. However, the company has created more health and safety measures, including more cleaning and sanitation and moving employees farther from each other, the statement says.

Gates says it is also checking employees' temperatures multiple times each day. About 80 people work at the plant, a Gates spokesperson said.

Boone County officials reported 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases Thursday, with 502 cases reported statewide. Eight people have died from the disease across the state.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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