BMW said fourteen employees have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus at a plant in Spartanburg, S.C., its biggest source of light-vehicle output worldwide.
Production at the 7 million-square-foot factory has not been affected, a BMW spokesman said Thursday.
The BMW plant was shut down on March 29, after much of the nation went into lockdown to stem the coronavirus outbreak, and reopened on May 4.
The Spartanburg factory employs about 11,000 people and builds crossovers. About 70 percent of the plant's production volume is exported to around 125 markets worldwide, with China being the biggest.
BMW said the 14 infected employees are in quarantine and that affected areas in the plant have been sanitized and deep-cleaned.
“Each case is unrelated to the other and all affected associates have been placed in quarantine,” the company spokesman said.
It’s unclear when the employees became infected and where in the plant they worked.
"The health and safety of all persons working at BMW Manufacturing has always been our top priority," the company said in a statement. "Since restarting production on May 4 numerous safety procedures have been implemented according to the recommendations of state and local governments and health authorities."
South Carolina is among several states, mostly in the sun belt, where U.S. cases continue to rise, according to John Hopkins University.