RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Phillip Morris USA employee in Richmond has tested positive for the coronavirus.
8News obtained an emailed statement sent to all salaried and hourly employees on Tuesday, March 17, confirming the positive COVID-19 case. In the message, Shelia Freeman writes “while unfortunate, this is not a surprise to us, as we knew it was a matter of time.”
Freeman continues, “thankfully, the employee is actively recovering and feeling well in self -quarantine at home.”
According to the letter, the company’s manufacturing operations are not impacted by the COVID-19 situation.
The letter did not disclose any information about how or when the employee contracted the virus, nor if the employee showed any symptoms. The letter also did not disclose the age of the employee.
8News reached out to Altria, which owns Phillip Morris, for a response:
Altria and its companies are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and working to protect our employees, consumers and communities from the virus.
We have one confirmed case of a Philip Morris USA employee who has contracted COVID-19. Thankfully, the employee is actively recovering and feeling well in self-quarantine at home. We developed rigorous protocols to handle suspected cases, including identifying and notifying, as quickly as possible, those who may have had contact with an affected employee. Those protocols worked well in this case.
Our manufacturing operations are not impacted by this incident.
We continue to follow updates from public health authorities and implementing CDC-recommended precautions including travel restrictions, remote working, and social distancing. We have enhanced our cleaning regimen and have strictly limited access to our manufacturing facilities to employees essential to production. We have implemented plans to minimize business disruptions and their potential impact to our employees, consumers and customers.Statement from Altria on confirmed COVID-19 case at Phillip Morris
The news comes after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and state officials provided an update to the state’s cases of coronavirus Wednesday morning. According to Dr. Norman Oliver, there are now 77 confirmed cased of COVID-19 in Virginia.
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