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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis manufacturing plant is going through a deep cleaning after several employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The Honeywell plant on Stinson Boulevard got its first positive case Monday.

The company says there is no indication the employees contracted the virus while at work.

WCCO’s Reg Chapman has more on this outbreak and what Union officials hope the company does to keep its employees safe.

Honeywell says once it learned of employees testing positive for COVID-19 it began immediately restricting access and mandating anyone entering the site to complete a screening process that includes temperature checks.

But once the number of employees testing positive increased, workers expressed concerns for their safety.

“Our expectation is we don’t want anybody there today,” Al Langseth said.

Teamsters 1145 represents workers at Honeywell.

“We got members who are afraid to go to work because they don’t want to bring it home to their families,” Langseth said.

Langseth says the company told him the plant would be shut down and deep cleaned.

But some workers turned to social media saying they were still at work on Friday morning.

“What we were told this morning is most of us will be gone by twelve,” Langseth said.

“Some employees were coming in today to shut down and secure machinery so the cleaning could start, which is now underway,” Honeywell said in a statement.

According to the CDC’s website, companies do not necessarily need to close operations — if they can close off affected areas, increase air circulation in the area and wait 24 hours before cleaning or disinfect. And make sure to clean all areas used by the person who is sick.

“They are going to try and do their deep cleaning all three floors over the weekend and you know hopefully be back on their feet by Monday, that’s what they are pushing for,” Langseth said.

Langseth says he would like to see employees stay home a little longer in order to make sure they don’t expose their families to COVID-19.

I’m hoping that they can stay home for the whole five days and get paid for the whole time,” Langseth said.

Honeywell hired a third party to clean its northeast Minneapolis facility.

The company say it will pay employees during this downtime.

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Reg Chapman

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