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Hino pausing production in July

PARKERSBURG — Hino Motors Manufacturing USA is halting production for a month.

The truck manufacturing facility paused production on March 23 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Work on trucks scheduled in March resumed in June, said Steve Stalnaker, senior vice president and manager of the plant off Interstate 77 near Mineral Wells.

“Our original plans were to take a ‘vacation period’ beginning July 3 and resuming production on July 13,” he said in an email. “After reviewing current business conditions, we have decided to extend that period through Aug. 2.”

Stalnaker said the decision was not based on any direct impact of the virus at the plant.

The company plans to resume operations with all of its full-time team members on Aug. 3, he said. The plant employed about 450 people in April.

A number of steps have been taken at the 1 million-square-foot facility to mitigate any potential spread of the virus, Stalnaker said.

“That includes the installation of a thermal-imaging camera that screens the temperature of all team members prior to their entering the plant,” he said. “In addition, we have altered the break and lunch periods to reduce the number of team members in our break areas.

“We installed partitions in those areas to reduce the potential for face-to-face contact. Finally we are requiring masks in areas where social distancing can’t be maintained,” Stalnaker said.

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