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Production slowly ramping up as Toyota’s Woodstock, Ont. plant reopens amid COVID-19 pandemic

Toyota's production facility in Woodstock, Ont., is set to start reopening with new coronavirus measures in place.
Toyota's production facility in Woodstock, Ont., is set to start reopening with new coronavirus measures in place. AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Some workers are heading back to work Monday at the Toyota assembly plant in Woodstock, Ont., after production was halted in late March due to concerns over the novel coronavirus.

A company spokesperson told Global News Radio that it will gradually resume manufacturing operations in compliance with all federal, provincial and municipal regulations and guidelines.

READ MORE: Ontario government expected to extend state of emergency to June 2

As part of a phased approach, roughly 15 per cent of the workforce will be returning on Monday. That number includes front-line managers, who will be joined by assembly staff later this week as a slow ramp-up to full production continues.

There will be a number of procedural changes for employees, as they will be required to wear facial protection while on site. A company spokesperson says most of the work stations on the production lines allow for physical distancing between employees, and physical barriers have been put in place in the few areas where that isn’t possible.

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Employees will also be arriving in staggered shifts and will have to provide their health status and have their temperatures taken by thermal cameras before entering the facility.

READ MORE: More COVID-19 restrictions slowly being lifted across Canada

As far as production at the plant is concerned, a small number of vehicles will be built Wednesday to test the new processes and procedures, with actual production slated to begin Thursday.