March 25, 2020. Today we are reporting that two of our factory workers have recently tested positive for COVID-19. These employees are currently quarantined and receiving care. We have notified all employees who worked in close proximity with these workers, and as a precaution, have placed each on paid leave and asked that they self-quarantine at home. To date, no other employees are showing symptoms, and all employees have been asked to stay home if they are feeling unwell.
From the first emergence of this pandemic, our primary focus has been to ensure the health and safety of our employees, our community, and our consumers. We realize there are many questions about the safety of manufacturing food and beverage items, and it is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed that foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.
As a pharmaceutical-grade facility, our factory has always adhered to the strictest safety protocols, and we have taken the recommended steps that have been outlined by the CDC and county health department and implemented new measures including:
- A rigorous daily sanitization of all communal employee areas and equipment (above and beyond our standard cleaning procedures)
- Issuing new physical distancing guidelines for employees inside and outside of production areas
- On-site nurses that will be available during all employee shifts, providing additional resources
- Maximizing the number of office employees working from home
- Implementing a more rigorous protocol for handwashing and further utilizing automatic machines that wash and sanitize employee hands (above and beyond our standard protocols)
- Tripling the number of staff dedicated to cleaning and sanitizing our entire facility
- Allowing employees to stay home if they are uncomfortable coming to work
As a manufacturer of food and beverage products, including medical foods and Defense Department contracted items, Jel Sert has been deemed an essential business under the guidelines of the Federal government and the state of Illinois.
As a family-owned company that has served American families for nearly a century, we are no stranger to the impacts of global crises. We understand the importance of staying agile and responsive to ensure the safety and well-being of those who work for us and those we serve. As such, we are working around the clock to monitor the situation and add any additional protocols that may be needed to ensure the safety of our workers and to keep operations in our manufacturing facility running during these trying times.
We encourage anyone who has questions to contact us via our website (https://jelsert.com/contact-us/). We will continue to keep the public updated with new information.