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KMMG not slowing production during COVID-19 outbreak, says it is working to prevent infection within West Point facility

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia said Wednesday the company is not scaling back on production or reducing the number of employees on shift during the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Patrick Sands, public relations manager at KMMG, said the company is closely monitoring the coronavirus developments in the United States and are continuously working to prevent infections within the facility in West Point.

“Furthermore, we have established a COVID-19 response team at Kia Motors Corporation and each affiliated company to monitor the situation and minimize the risks,” Sands said in an email. “We will continue to work with federal, state and local authorities in support of preventive measures. The health and safety of the KMMG team is always our top priority.”

KMMG reported the company has taken several steps to prevent the spread COVID-19, including the suspension of business travel to countries designated as high-risk areas by the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

Additional measures include:

  • Development of implementation of a screening protocol for visitors;
  • Restricted access for international travelers that have not been stateside for a minimum of two weeks;
  • Additional hand sanitizer stations or pump bottles located on the KMMG campus;
  • Enhancement to the frequency of sanitary cleaning practices while providing additional supplies and materials to its cleaning contractors based on the latest cleaning practice information;
  • Suspension of KMMG’s public tour program;
  • Providing various health and COVID-19 related links to team members on our internal app; and
  • Closing KMMG’s on-site fitness center.

Sands said the company is strongly encouraging all Kia suppliers to implement similar programs.

At a community meeting about COVID-19 on March 13, Chris Miller, chief administrative officer at Kia, said the company has a strong screening protocol for anyone coming onto the campus from overseas during this time.

He said the individuals that do come from Korea are pre-screened overseas, which involves a medical exam and questionnaire. When they get to the U.S., they are put into a 14-day quarantine before they are allowed to step foot on the Kia campus.

After 14 days, there is another medical exam.

Once the individual is permitted on the Kia campus, there are medical screens at the seven and 14-day periods.

“We are trying to stay as proactive as we possibly can,” Miller said.

At Hyundai MOBIS Alabama, located in West Point, Lavon Stough, general manager of MOBIS human resources and team relations, said the manufacturer has a task force that is monitoring the COVID-19 situation.

Stough said the task force is following guidance issued by public health officials, including the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health. However, the manufacturer is maintaining normal operations and staffing in support of providing modules to KMMG.

“We have taken proactive steps to help reduce the risk of viral transmissions at our facility, including conducting regular cleaning of equipment and other surfaces in high-traffic and high-touch areas, making additional hand sanitizer regularly available, and issuing reminders about good hygiene and social distancing practices,” Stough said in an email to the newspaper.

Stough said Mobis has also suspended business travel to designated high-risk areas, limited domestic business travel and implemented a screening protocol for all visitors to the facility.

“We are also communicating regularly with our suppliers and customers to encourage safe practices throughout the supply chain,” Stough said. “Mobis’s top priority is the health and well-being of our Mobis team.”