Philip Morris USA suspending Richmond manufacturing operations after second coronavirus case

Philip Morris USA suspending Richmond manufacturing operations after second coronavirus case

A second Philip Morris USA employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc. has temporarily suspended operations at its Philip Morris USA manufacturing center in South Richmond after a second Philip Morris employee tested positive for COVID-19, Altria Director of Communications George Parman says.

Altria expects the manufacturing center to suspend its operations for the next two weeks.

“PM USA and Middleton will pay employees their regular base wages,” Parman says. “PM USA and Middleton will evaluate providing additional pay continuation beyond that timeframe as needed.”

Middleton, the cigar-manufacturing subsidiary of Altria, has also opted to close its domestic operations for two weeks due to “COVID-19 related supply chain constraints,” according to a press release from the company.

“We take the threat of COVID-19 seriously and have been actively implementing plans to minimize business disruptions and their potential impact to our employees, consumers and customers,” Billy Gifford, Altria’s vice chairman and chief financial officer, said in a statement.

Altria employs approximately 3,000 people in the Richmond region between its corporate headquarters in Henrico and Philip Morris USA’s cigarette manufacturing facility and research center in Richmond.

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