Yokohama Tire Corporation is shutting down production at its West Point manufacturing plant for two weeks, beginning Saturday, in response to the COVID-19 virus, the Japan-based company announced Friday.
According to a press release from the company’s North American headquarters in Santa Ana, California, most of the facility’s roughly 700 workers will be off the job as production is put on hold for the two-week period. The company said the plant’s shipping and order fulfillment operations, as well as key maintenance activities, will continue.
The shutdown comes on the same day Congress approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus bill that includes tax credits for large businesses that would cover 50 percent of employee wages.
Yokohama opened its first of a planned four-phase operation in West Point in 2015. Each phase estimated adding 500 employees with the entire project slated for completion by 2023. To date, only one phase has been finished, however, with no clear plans on when subsequent phases will be built.
As of press time Saturday, the Mississippi State Department of Health had reported 663 total novel coronavirus cases, and 13 deaths from the virus, in the state. So far, there have been 14 reported cases in Oktibbeha, 10 in Lowndes, and two each in Clay and Noxubee counties. None have resulted in death.
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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