9 employees positive for COVID-19, but Brandon manufacturer says it’s shutting down due to economic slowdown


BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — Gates Corporation is shutting down its Brandon manufacturing plant from April 20-24, after nine employees tested positive for COVID-19. But the company says that is not the reason it is temporarily closing.

Gates says the decision came because of the decreased demand for its product due to the economic slowdown.

“As soon as we received notification of the first positive diagnosis, we instructed the employee and any coworkers believed to have been in close contact with the employee to self-quarantine for 14 days. We repeated our self-quarantine directive for any subsequent coworkers that have been in close contact with the additional six employees who received a positive diagnosis. Additionally, enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices were immediately initiated in the facility.”

Ani Vattano, Gates Corporation, Director of Corporate Communications

Gates has 270 employees at its Brandon facility. The company says it will continue to provide benefits during this time. Gates plans to reopen the facility April 27.

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