Two Ford workers die of coronavirus in Detroit area

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DETROIT — Two Ford Motor Co. workers have died from the coronavirus, the UAW said Saturday.

One worked at the automaker’s Dearborn Stamping plant while the other was a skilled trades employee at the Ford Data Center in Dearborn, Mich., the union said.

The pair are the first Ford employees known to have died from the virus. Five workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have died, four of whom were UAW members.

“It is a tragic reminder that the coronavirus crisis is everywhere and requires the attention of all of us,” Ford said in a statement confirming their deaths. “Our thoughts are with their families, friends and co-workers during this difficult time. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our work force, dealers, customers and communities. We will continue to follow the guidance from global health experts to do all we can to keep our people healthy.”

It was unclear when exactly the workers died. The names of the two workers were not released.

As of Saturday, 4,650 people in Michigan have tested positive for the coronavirus and 111 have died. The Detroit 3 automakers have idled all plants in North America until at least next month. Ford said last week it was targeting April 14 to reopen a number of U.S. facilities, including Dearborn Stamping.

“We will continue to assess public health conditions as well as supplier readiness and will adjust plans if necessary,” a spokeswoman said Saturday.

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