A Boeing 777X during a taxi test. (Boeing Co.)

A Boeing 777X during a taxi test. (Boeing Co.)

Companywide, Boeing reports 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Boeing will equip more employees to work remotely, but for now factory workers will stay on the line.

EVERETT — With 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across its global operations, the Boeing Co. plans to redouble efforts to equip more employees to work at home.

Nine of the confirmed cases are among Boeing employees in the Puget Sound region, Boeing spokesman Jessica Kowal told The Daily Herald.

The Chicago-based company issued new company-wide guidelines on Monday requiring managers to immediately identify employees who can work remotely and to make scheduling changes by the end of Tuesday. That includes outfitting them with company-issued laptops and other equipment to work at home, according to an email sent Monday to all Boeing employees.

Company wide, Boeing has 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 339 employees under quarantine for suspected exposure. Another 87 workers have been released from quarantine and have returned to work, the company email said. Boeing employs more than 160,000 worldwide and 72,000 in Washington.

Those stepped-up efforts don’t apply to workers whose jobs require they turn a wrench or inspect aircraft or production work. Those who are unable to work at home due to the nature of their jobs “should continue to work on-site until further notice,” the email said.

The Everett campus at Paine Field, which operates three shifts, employs more than 35,000 workers in the factory, engineering offices, delivery center and other buildings. The main plant houses the assembly lines for the 747, 767, KC-46 tanker, 787 and 777.

Boeing already has taken steps to limit the virus’ spread, including cutting nonessential travel and face-to-face meetings. Employees are urged to maintain a six-foot distance from co-workers, the company has said.

“We know that people are very concerned about their health and safety, (and) we have a process to assess risk if an employee reports flu-like symptoms,” Kowal said.

Similar measures are being taken at Boeing’s 787 assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, where it employs about 7,000.

COVID-19 is vexing not only to airplane builders but the entire manufacturing sector, which depends on hands-on labor to build and package goods. Manufacturers are struggling with how — and whether — to keep production lines running as the virus advances.

The airline industry, in particular, is in dire straits, analysts say.

The Centre for Aviation, an Australian trade and research group, estimated that “by the end of May, most airlines in the world will be bankrupt.” The group called for “coordinated government and industry action … if catastrophe is to be avoided.”

Domestic and international airlines have canceled flights or suspended operations due to travel bans and a scarcity of passengers.

On Monday, the U.S. airline industry called for a $50 billion government bailout, according to Airlines for America, a trade group that represents carriers.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@covingtonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.covingtonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Three Blue Origin employees in Kent test positive for COVID-19

At new headquarters that opened in January

Renton business owner supports local farmers, brewers during pandemic

The Brewmaster’s Foundation weekly Community Supported Agriculture box includes fresh produce from local farms and beers from Washington breweries.

Insurers should consider refunds of auto premiums to Washington drivers

State Insurance Commissioner Kreidler issues request

Amazon.com still has listings for medical equipment, but the website includes a caveat and other protections to ensure equipment is supplied to those who need it. Screenshot
Five businesses warned for price gouging

Ferguson sent cease and desist letters to five businesses, including one in Issaquah.

Customers buying high volume of products at cannabis shops

Retail establishments get the green light to remain open during COVID-19 pandemic.

A Boeing 777X during a taxi test. (Boeing Co.)
Companywide, Boeing reports 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Boeing will equip more employees to work remotely, but for now factory workers will stay on the line.

A flight takes off at SeaTac International Airport. Photo courtesy Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle, airlines respond to COVID-19 with new health measures

Changes at Sea-Tac Airport include more hand sanitizer, training for biohazard cleaning.

With Mount Baker and Jetty Island in the distance, a container ship approaches the Port of Everett. (Port of Everett photo)
Senate Dems: $5 million to help businesses disrupted by coronavirus

Overseas port closures hurt WA companies that depend on international shipping.

Lakepointe project in limbo

Developers must wait for road projects halted by passage of I-976

Boeing Renton plant to halt 737 Max production

Suspension expected to begin in January

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The Maple Valley Crockett’s Public House was packed with Maple Valley residents and IRONMAN enthusiasts alike for the announcement of the triathlon’s premiere in Maple Valley, and King County, for the first time in six years.
IRONMAN 70.3 races into Maple Valley

The city will host the world-famous triathlon in September