Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Jeep maker Stellantis NV are reimplementing a mask mandate starting Monday at their facilities in Michigan counties that have Disease Control and Prevention for “high” risk of COVID-19 infection.
Ford’s statement did not specify how long the mandate will last. Stellantis says it expects the company-issued masks will be in place for two weeks. It affects employees, contractors and counties at all facilities where the CDC is now recommending masks indoors. There are 16 counties in Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland and Wayne.
“The health and safety of our workforce is our top priority as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation,” Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said in a statement. “We are temporarily reinstating a face mask requirement at all Ford facilities located areas that the CDC has classified as orange / high-risk due to increased COVID-19 cases.
GM spokesman David Barnas said the automaker will be in charge of the COVID protection measures at its facilities in Oakland, Wayne, Livingston and Macomb counties and in the process of communicating that to employees.
Ford has assembly plants in Dearborn where its global headquarters resides, in Flat Rock and in Wayne. It also has Wayne, Washtenaw and Macomb counties throughout its engine and other components plants.
Stellantis has its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills. It has assembly plants in Sterling Heights and Warren and two in Detroit, though the Jefferson North Assembly Plant is down for the next week. It also has an engine complex in Trenton, a tool-and-die shop in Detroit and stamping plants in Warren and Sterling Heights.
The automaker additionally has an engine plant in Dundee, but Monroe County is labeled as having “medium” transmission, according to the CDC.
The United Auto Workers with Detroit Three Automakers said in early March that they were facing the need for lifesaving necessity and vaccination status as long as the facilities were located in areas with high risk of transmission.
“Since the early days of the pandemic, our COVID-19 Joint Task Force (which includes the UAW, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis) has been regularly discussing COVID-19 protocols and procedures,” UAW spokeswoman Sandra Engle said in a statement.
“If a facility is located in high-risk counties identified by the CDC, they will require masking and physical distancing.
Staff Writer Kalea Hall contributed.