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Fuyao workers undergo mass testing for coronavirus

FILE
FILE

Officials are mass testing employees at Fuyao this week after workers tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Moraine auto glass plant and officials with Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County are working together on the testing of all active employees. The factory had layoffs related to the pandemic but about 1,750 of Fuyao’s employees have returned to work.

Fuyao stated they have four confirmed cases for employees who returned from layoff and learned they tested positive. There are three other employees who tested positive and recovered while on layoff, the company stated.

Fuyao said in a statement that the company accepted the health department’s offer to test all employees, saying “We are a large operation and want to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect our employees and their families.”

Dan Suffoletto, spokesman for Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, said public health doesn’t do mass testing on every business with worker cases but offers to help individual businesses with testing in certain cases where there’s a need.

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“We only do it where we think there’s a need based upon the current situation,” Suffoletto said.

People who are infected with the coronavirus might not feel sick so testing helps identify who is infectious and needs to isolate to cut off further spread.

Fuyao stated that testing is mandatory. “We will evaluate refusals on a case by case basis being mindful that refusals to test impact the fairness of the process and potentially jeopardize the health and safety of our workforce,” the company said.

Public Health also worked with Crocs to do blanket testing for their Dayton workers and 2% of workers tested positive.

Health officials have emphasized that the virus is highly contagious and just because a worker gets sick doesn’t mean a company has done anything wrong.

Montgomery County has been reporting an uptick in cases over the last several weeks. Local hospitals have also been reporting some increases in COVID-19 patients over the last few weeks.

Out of the 1,345 county residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the epidemic, as of Tuesday an estimated 318 are still active cases.

Health officials have urged people to take precautions to reduce their risk of spreading the virus such as wearing a face mask when out in public and keeping at least six feet of physical distance between people.

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Five Rivers Health Centers is also offering free testing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at Samaritan Health Center, 921 S. Edwin C. Moses Blvd., Dayton.

Those who show up to the site should bring their State I.D. or driver’s license and their insurance card if they have one. Appointments are not required but pre-registration is appreciated and available at fiverivershealthcenters.org. Patients can also pre-register for the Dayton site by calling (937) 681-2091.