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Pyrotek suspends operations after 2 workers test for COVID

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Health officials have confirmed that two employees at Cortland’s Pyrotek management facility on Route 13 tested positive for COVID-19.

That information was learned on Saturday, at which point Pyrotek immediately closed down and will remain so until “safety of employees can be ensured,” according to Plant Manager Thomas Howard.

Howard also said the facility is continuing to follow all U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, along with those of local health authorities.

“Unfortunately for our employees and their families, these positive tests results occurred, despite all of our work implementing the CDC guidelines,” Howard said. “Any individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms have been asked to self-quarantine. We hope we can return to full operations as soon as possible so we can continue in our role as an essential manufacturer.”

Some of Pyrotek’s products, Howard pointed out, are used to manufacture some of the high-demand items being used during the pandemic like ventilators and N-95 masks, along with food, beverage, and drug packaging.

Prior to the two positive cases, Pyrotek had already implemented several CDC-recommended measures:

  • Social Distancing; spreading people out over two shifts to try to increase distancing wherever possible
  • Increased daily cleaning, and provided extra sanitizer for personal hygiene.
  • Sick employees instructed not to come to the plant and to stay home if they have symptoms

On top of these, which Howard says will continue to be used, Pyrotek will now also adopt the following additional measures prior to reopening:

  • Daily confirmation, by every individual, that they have no symptoms prior to entering the facility.
  • Touch-free temperature screening for some individuals.
  • Cloth or surgical masks suggested for all people entering the plant, and required for those who are returning to work after having COVID-19 symptoms.

In total, Cortland County now has 24 positive cases to-date, which includes 8 active and 16 recovered, none of which have been linked to anyone outside of their household contacts.

County Health officials are still monitoring thirty-six individuals and are reporting four patients’ hospitalized at this time out of five people to-date, with so far 718 negative test results.

Stay tuned with WXHC for daily COVID-19 updates in the community.

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