COVID spike prompts layoffs at Wentzville GM plant

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By NewsRadio 1120 KMOX

WENTZVILLE, MO (KMOX) - The surge in coronavirus cases in St. Charles County is prompting General Motors to lay off its third shift workers at the Wentzville Assembly plant.

The Detroit Free Press reports the layoffs involving 1,250 workers will begin July 20. According to UAW Local 2250, production shifts for Saturday (July 11) were also cancelled. No reason was given.

As of noon Saturday, St. Charles County is reporting 494 new confirmed cases over the past 14 days. That's a 266% increase over the previous 14.  The number of people quarantined increased 174 percent, from 115 to 315 .

A couple of days ago KMOX reported the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at the GM plant had reached 15. The Free Press says that number is now 23.

GM spokesman David Barnas tells the Free Press "We believe in the short term a two-shift operation plan will allow us to operate as efficiently as possible and accommodate team members who are not reporting to work due to concerns about COVID-19 in the local community."

The Wentzville plant assembles the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-sized pickups and the Chevy Express and GMC Savanna full-size vans. It employs 4,100 people.

Meanwhile, on Saturday morning neighboring Franklin County is reporting 21 new Coronavirus cases, including a 14 year-old boy from Washington, a 16-year-old girl from Union and an 18-year-old woman from St. Albans.

Ten of the 21 cases involve residents in their 20's and 30's.

Over the past five days, Franklin County is averaging ten new cases a day. St. Louis City and County are also seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases.