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BP Whiting Refinery worker tests positive for coronavirus
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BP Whiting Refinery worker tests positive for coronavirus

BP Whiting Refinery worker tests positive for coronavirus

BP's Whiting Refinery, as seen from Lakefront Park. 

A worker at the BP Whiting Refinery tested positive for coronavirus, which has now infiltrated most of the Calumet Region's major industrial workplaces.

"The employee has been self-isolating and working from home since March 23," BP spokesman Michael Abendoff said. "The person was not in close contact with others and maintained proper social distancing prior to the illness. BP cleaned the employee’s work area and continues additional work-area cleaning across the plant. The refinery continues to run, and all on-site employees and contractors are being monitored closely. The health and safety of our employees and contractors remains our highest priority."

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BP is allowing workers who can to work remotely from home, but its manufacturing and production sites have been deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic. The company is taking precautions, such as limiting visitors and adding cleaning and hygiene routines.

"Across the U.S. we limited our operations to essential personnel only and issued business guidance accordingly," Abendoff said. "We implemented robust protocols for health, hygiene, social distancing and isolation. The Whiting refinery is conducting daily health screenings before every shift."

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Workers or contractors also have tested positive for coronavirus at the Gary Works steel mill, the ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor steel mill, the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor steel mill, Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant and the Lear Corp. seat-making factory in Hammond.

The auto plants have been shut down during the outbreak, while the steel mills have stayed open.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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