Stockdorf / Munich – February 11, 2020 – Following a two-week closure, the automotive supplier Webasto reopens its headquarters in Stockdorf tomorrow (Wednesday). As a precautionary measure to protect the workforce, the company had—under its own initiative—closed its Administration and R&D Center on January 29 after the first employees had tested positive for Coronavirus. In the meantime more than 1,000 colleagues continued working from home. Around 180 of them were tested by doctors from the Starnberg Health Office in Stockdorf or in clinics in the greater Munich area. Only eight of them tested positive. All others received a negative laboratory result.
“We are relieved that no new cases of illness have arisen among our employees since the beginning of last week. However, we remain cautious because we still know so little about this virus. But it appears we have been able to interrupt the chain of infection within our company thanks to the rapid and decisive action we have taken”, explains Dr. Holger Engelmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Webasto SE. Before the employees return from their home offices a specialist company was engaged to clean and disinfect all workstations, meeting rooms, kitchens and sanitary facilities at Webasto in Stockdorf in accordance with EU directive.
The President of the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Dr. Andreas Zapf, emphasizes, “The consistency with which the company acted under these exceptional circumstances is commendable. From the very beginning we have been in close contact and have exchanged information very openly and continuously. The knowledge we have gained through the close cooperation with Webasto will then also help us in the scientific analysis of the outbreak.”
The eight infected Webasto employees remain in hospitals in Munich and in the county of Traunstein. Engelmann notes, “We are in frequent contact with all of the patients and are pleased that some of them have already made a full recovery and are likely to be released soon. I ask representatives from the media to respect the privacy of all our employees. The past weeks have been hugely stressful, particularly for those colleagues who tested positive and for their families. Above all, they now need some time for themselves and for their relatives.”
Pending further notice, enhanced hygiene standards apply at all Webasto sites worldwide. Business travel to and from China continues to be suspended until the end of February 2020.