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Volkswagen Chattanooga suspending production for one week amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 1:34 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 14:34:17-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga is suspending production for one week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volkswagen officials said the suspension begins at 3:45 a.m. Saturday. They plan to resume production at 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 29.

During that time, officials said they will conduct additional sanitation and cleaning procedures throughout the factory. They’ll also “assess future production plans and market developments.”

Volkswagen says it will offer full pay for all team members during the shutdown and employees who are able to work from home will do so.

They asked all employees to self-quarantine and maintain social distancing.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and will take any and all additional steps as they become necessary, communicating updates as they are available,” Volkswagen said in part.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.