RED WING — In response to the coronavirus outbreak, local businesses are making plans regarding their businesses, employees, customers, and other relevant issues. Two area manufactures responded to requests for statements about their current plans.

Brian Stevenson, chief legal officer for Meyer Utility Structures in Hagar City, said, “The health and safety of our employees, their families and their communities is our highest priority. We have taken measures to attempt to minimize potential exposure of our employees to COVID-19, while working to continue to produce critical products for this country’s electrical infrastructure. We will continue to seek guidance from appropriate government bodies, including the Centers for Disease Control.”

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Tim Post, communications manager for 3M, said the company is trying to keep up with the rapidly changing needs for their products. In response, the company has released the following statements on their website.

“During the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re working to help those affected around the world, putting a priority on the safety of our people and the public.

“That’s because 3Mers across the globe are on the front lines, maintaining operations and producing needed supplies to help others treat and help protect people in the face of a pandemic.

“In addition to working to ensure that our supply chains hold up to global demand for products like respirators, surgical masks and commercial cleaning solutions, we’ve taken steps to make sure our employees can lead safe and productive lives during the outbreak. This week, we’ve initiated a remote working policy, a pandemic paid leave policy and a COVID-19 clearinghouse site for our people.

“We are also supporting public health and government response to the outbreak by ramping up production at our global manufacturing facilities, including hiring workers, adding shifts and activating more production lines.

“As global demand for personal protective equipment continues to outpace supplies, we will work with customers, distributors, and government and medical officials to help get supplies where they are most needed.”

This is a challenge because 3M manufactures products around the world. One of their biggest concerns is for respirators and other products needed by healthcare workers.

Their statement said, “While 3M manufactures millions of respirators per month at its production facilities, we expect demand for respirators and other supplies to outpace supply for the foreseeable future. While we have not changed the prices we charge for 3M respirators as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, we cannot control the prices other dealers or retailers charge.

“As this situation continues, we are closely monitoring and responding to any potential impact to our broader supply chain. Serving our customers is a top priority and our business teams are working diligently to communicate with individual customers about any potential disruptions.”

3M has changed several of the policies regarding their employees, including paid time off in cases of caregiving, childcare, or self-quarantining related to the COVID-19 outbreak. They are encouraging employees to work from home whenever possible and will be covering costs of screening tests and medical office visits for their employees.

They concluded, “We are closely monitoring how the spread of the virus is affecting our employees and business operations. We have developed preparedness plans to help protect the safety of employees around the world while safely continuing business.”

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