PLAQUEMINE, La.—Dow Inc.'s plastics and chemicals plant in Plaquemine will continue to operate after four contract workers there have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
One worker was diagnosed in early March, with the other three diagnosed this week, a spokesperson for Midland, Mich.-based Dow said in an email to Plastics News.
The spokesperson added that each of the new cases resulted from testing that occurred early last week, and the individuals were quarantined.
Dow continues to take precautions to ensure the firm is appropriately responding to each of these cases, the spokesperson said. The site is temperature screening every individual entering the gate and will deny access to anyone with a temperature above 100° F.
"We are advising employees who can work from home to do so; implementing extra sanitation and cleaning measures; and advising social distancing practices and appropriate (personal protective equipment) for those who must be onsite to perform their jobs," the spokesperson said.
Dow is identified as an essential business and will remain operational during this time. The spokesperson said that the firm supplies many products and technologies for the health care, hygiene and medical industries, including personal protective equipment such as medical gowns, gloves, caps and drapes.
Plastic products made by Dow in Placquemine include low density and linear low density polyethylene resins, as well as thermoplastic elastomers.
Dow ranks as one of the world's largest producers of PE and specialty plastics. The firm employs around 36,500 worldwide and posted sales of almost $43 billion in 2019.
Louisiana has seen a recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases. The Louisiana Department of Health reported March 25 that had confirmed 1,795 cases in the state. The number of people hospitalized climbed to 491 on March 25 compared to 271 a day earlier.