Webasto is to reopen its headquarters in Stockdorf, Bavaria tomorrow (12 February) after a two-week shutdown due to staff contracting the coronavirus.
The supplier closed its administrative and development centre on 29 January as a precaution after the first employees had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Most of the more than 1,000 staff worked from home. Around 180 were tested by doctors from the Starnberg Health Office in Stockdorf or in clinics in the Munich area. The test was positive in eight of them, while the others received a negative laboratory result.
“We are relieved no new illness has occurred among our employees since the beginning of last week,” said Webasto chairman, Holger Engelmann in a statement from the supplier put through a basic translation service.
“We are still cautious because very little is known about the virus. But it looks as if our quick and decisive action after the first positive test has broken the infection chain in the company.”
A specialist company cleaned and disinfected all workplaces, meeting rooms, kitchens and sanitary facilities at Webasto in Stockdorf.
“The consistency with which the company acted in this special situation is commendable,” added Bavaria State Office for Health and Food Safety president, Andreas Zapf.
“We have been in close contact from the very beginning and have had very open and continuous exchanges. The knowledge we have gained through close cooperation with Webasto will also help us to scientifically process the outbreak.”
The eight infected Webasto employees are still in hospitals in Munich and in the Traunstein district.
“We are in close contact with everyone and are pleased some of them are already completely symptom-free and are expected to be released shortly,” noted Engelmann.
“The past few weeks have been an enormous burden, especially for the colleagues who tested positive and their families. Above all, they need time for themselves and their relatives. “
Until further notice, increased hygiene standards apply at all Webasto locations worldwide.
Business trips to and from China are still suspended until the end of February, 2020.