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FCA partners with Beaumont, other hospital systems to test autoworkers

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is partnering with Beaumont Health and other medical systems in the United States to test employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 before or during their shifts.

The Italian American automaker shared details of the collaboration on Sunday ahead of more workers returning to the auto plants of Fiat Chrysler and its crosstown rivals Monday following a nearly eight-week shutdown. The testing is part of the companies' protocols to keep their facilities safe after concerns from the rank-and-file contributed to the production suspension.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV has partnered with Beaumont Health to provide testing to employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 before or during their shifts.

"These testing arrangements work in tandem with our enhanced personal protection protocols and processes to ensure our workforce is protected,” Mark Stewart, Fiat Chrysler's chief operating officer in North America, said in a statement.

Hourly and salaried employees in Metro Detroit exhibiting symptoms of the virus will be referred to one of five of Southfield-based Beaumont's testing centers designated for FCA employees. The partnership seeks to provide same-day appointments and results within a day or less.

Similar arrangements are available for employees through Ascension St. Vincent in Kokomo, Indiana; Swedish American Hospital in Belvidere, Illinois; and Promedica Hospital in Toledo, Ohio.

Likewise, Ford Motor Co. has partnered with Beaumont to provide testing to its symptomatic employees. At most of General Motors Co.'s sites, the company's on-site medical teams will conduct the testing.

The United Auto Workers has called for as much testing as possible and that all members be tested through their employers when the resources are available.

Employees being tested will be sent home until a doctor clears them to returns to work. They will receive pay during a 14-day doctor-ordered quarantine.

Testing is one of numerous health and safety protocols Detroit automakers are putting in place as thousands of autoworkers begin returning to work in phases. Other measures include daily health self-certifications, required temperature checks and providing personal protective equipment workers must wear.

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble