DuPont Spruance plant worker dies from coronavirus
Chesterfield County factory still operating 24/7, says spokesperson
An employee of the DuPont Spruance plant in Chesterfield County has died from COVID-19, the company announced Thursday.
Earlier this week, the company confirmed that five plant employees, including the employee who died, had tested positive for COVID-19. The plant has employees working around the clock to produce material used to make personal protective equipment, which is now in high demand.
“The DuPont Spruance family is deeply saddened to report that one of our colleagues has passed away due to complications from the COVID-19 virus,” spokesman Ryan L. Smartt said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of our colleague. We have offered our support to them during this extremely difficult time.”
Smartt said that DuPont Spruance is still running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with employees working 12-hour shifts.
The facility, which employs about 2,000 people, is the largest manufacturing plant owned by technology-based materials producer DuPont de Nemours Inc. It produces Kevlar, which is used in body armor; Nomex, an insulation material used for firefighters’ suits; and Tyvek, a material used in protecting homes and buildings from weather. However, Tyvek is now being manufactured to produce protective gear like coveralls for medical workers and others who come into contact with infected patients. All the factory’s Kevlar, Nomex and Tyvek production areas are operational, he added.
On Wednesday, the plant announced it was partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and FedEx to expedite shipping of Tyvek garments from Chesterfield. The Tyvek produced in Virginia will be carried via FedEx planes to DuPont’s garment manufacturer in Vietnam. The finished coveralls will then be returned to the United States for distribution, according to the company, which has activated 19 garment-production plants in nine countries to deliver more than 9 million garments per month.