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Frito-Lay Halts Work at CA Plant Due to COVID-19 Fears

March 26, 2020
A view of the Frito Lay plant in Modesto, CA. Image courtesy of Google Maps
A view of the Frito Lay plant in Modesto, CA. Image courtesy of Google Maps

Snack maker Frito-Lay temporarily stopped work at its plant in Modesto, CA this week after several workers developed symptoms of COVID-19 and were self-quarantined, several local news organizations reported. Operations were paused to allow the company to deep clean the facility.

The Cheetos manufacturer told the Modesto Bee that “multiple” workers at the Garner Road facility with symptoms “consistent with COVID-19” entered a 14-day self-quarantine. Some of the quarantined workers were in contact with those who had symptoms. 

“As a precautionary measure, we have made the decision to temporarily close the Frito-Lay Modesto facility in order to conduct a deep cleaning of the contracted areas and equipment based on CDC guidelines and using EPA-approved registered products for COVID-19,” Frito Lay said in a statement to the newspaper

Workers at the Modesto facility will receive 100% of their pay for up to 12 weeks and those in self-quarantine will be paid their normal rates, the company said in coverage by Fox News affiliate KTXL. About 620 people are employed at the plant. 

The plant, which manufactures snack products like corn chips, is scheduled to reopen on March 25. 

PepsiCo, the owner of Frito-Lay, announced a series of benefits and measures to protect workers during the COVID-19 outbreak, including adjusting attendance and sick day rules, extending sick pay, and offering to give workers full pay at plants that have been closed as a result of the novel coronavirus. 

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