In this file:


·         Coronavirus closures: Bridgestone will send 1,400 workers home from Des Moines tire plant

·         LOCKDOWN! Entire state of California now under "shelter in place" order



Coronavirus closures: Bridgestone will send 1,400 workers home from Des Moines tire plant


Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register (IA)

March 19, 2020


Bridgestone is sending about 1,400 workers home from its Des Moines agricultural tire manufacturing plant for two weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, beginning Sunday morning.


It's the first major Iowa production facility to shut down due to the coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19. "They're really looking out for their employees," said Steve Vonk, president of U.S. Steelworkers Local 310, which represents workers at the plant.


Bridgestone Americas said Thursday it's closing all North and South American facilities to protect the health of employees during the pandemic.


"We hope other facilities follow their lead and do what's right to contain this virus," said Vonk, who has worked at Bridgestone for 32 years and led the union for eight.


Many manufacturers are struggling with the issue, working hard to protect employees while also keeping them employed, said Mike Ralston, president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.


"I expect there to be others. The question is how many," said Ralston, whose group represents about 1,500 businesses that employ about 331,000 Iowans. Most members are manufacturers.


Production in Iowa ranges from manufacturing RVs, planters and tractors to making grain bins, breakfast cereal and processing pork and beef. Ralston said it's critically important that many facilities, such as those for food production, remain open…


… No employee at the Des Moines plant — the largest agricultural tire operation in the world — has tested positive…





LOCKDOWN! Entire state of California now under "shelter in place" order


by James Turpin, KMPH/FOX 26 News (CA)

March 19th 2020


The state of California is about to go under a "shelter in place" order announced on Thursday by Governor Gavin Newsom.


The Governor calls the situation "fluid", and says the order is necessary now because of new projections that show how many people might be infected.


He calls this an "open ended" order and says he will not put a time frame on how long it could last. He says the next eight weeks are critical for controlling the spread of the virus.


The Governor says more than half of all Californians could, eventually, be infected with the Coronavirus. He says 56% of people living in the state will get it, which would be more than 20-million people.


The shelter-in-place rules will be similar to those already in effect in Fresno, the Bay Area, and other California counties and cities.


Governor Gavin Newsom made that announcement around 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 19.


He says a list of exempt and non-exempt businesses will be released "soon".


In Fresno businesses such as bars, salons, car dealers, and other businesses where large groups can gather, or where people must be in close proximity to each other, are under a shutdown order. Fresno has also ordered that there will be no public gatherings larger than ten people outside of private family homes. People who work for "non-essential" businesses are asked to stay at home and get out only for tasks such as grocery shopping and medical visits.


He says he is worried that there won't be enough hospital beds for all of the victims if nothing is done right now. He says that's one of the reasons he is calling for new rules.


He says if California acts strongly right now he feels the state can keep the number of victims under the number of hospital beds. He said, "let's bend the curve together".


The Governor announced that the state has purchased a hospital in Northern California and will soon announce a second such purchase, this one in Southern California. He also says the state is trying to arrange dorm rooms and colleges and hotel rooms to help house victims if needed…