Update, March 31: KMA and KIE will suspend all production activities until the first shift on Monday, April 13, according to Kubota's website.
“During this difficult time, all full-time Kubota employees will continue to receive pay and benefits while production activities are suspended,” according to a statement from Kubota Vice President Phil Sutton.
Management and staff will continue working on both short and long-term business continuity plans.
Sutton said there have been two employees with confirmed positive tests for COVID-19 at separate Gainesville facilities and one employee at the Jefferson facility.
Update, March 30:
Kubota suspended production Monday, March 30 and all shifts Tuesday, March 31, at its Kubota Manufacturing of America and Kubota Industrial Equipment facilities, according to the company website.
“We will temporarily suspend production operations at all (Kubota Manufacturing of America) and (Kubota Industrial Equipment) facilities starting with (second) shift (Monday) and for all shifts tomorrow, March 31, 2020,” a scroll reads on the company website. “Stay tuned for more information.”
Kubota Manufacturing of America closed its Gainesville buildings early Friday, March 27, after an employee informed them of a positive COVID-19 test result.
Kubota Vice President Phil Sutton did not respond to calls for comment Monday, March 30.
Previous story: Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp. closed its Gainesville buildings early Friday, March 27, after an employee informed them of a positive COVID-19 test result.
Kubota Vice President Phil Sutton said the employee called around 2 p.m. Friday and sent an image of the test results.
“As soon as we got that, we went ahead and sent everybody home,” Sutton said.
Sutton said the employee was working Wednesday, March 25, but went home after feeling unwell.
The closing also allowed them to “spend a little extra time cleaning one of our buildings out of an abundance of caution,” Sutton said.
“The others were shut down because that building that we decided to clean is our supply-chain building, so they cannot operate without (it). Three of the buildings were just shut down just because we couldn’t move parts, so we decided to just shut down an hour early today so that we could do that cleaning,” he said.
Sutton said there is a plan to open on Monday, March 30, and this is the only employee that’s reported a positive COVID-19 test result.
“We wanted to make sure that anybody that he was exposed to was notified that there is a potential exposure,” Sutton said.