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Two Eastman employees test positive for COVID-19

From staff reports • Mar 29, 2020 at 1:06 PM

KINGSPORT — Eastman confirmed Sunday that two team members at its Kingsport location tested positive for COVID-19 in the past couple of days.

“Both team members have been away from work since March 17 and are currently receiving the appropriate medical care from healthcare providers,” Eastman spokeswoman Betty Payne said in an email. “We wish them a full and quick recovery and have offered support and outreach to them and their families. We can’t say more due to HIPAA’s privacy rule, but our thoughts and prayers are with them through this time. The local public health department is in contact with other team members who worked closely with these individuals, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance and requirements. The ongoing health and well-being of our team members is our top priority and we will conduct proper disinfection of the potentially affected spaces in accordance with CDC guidelines.”

Payne added that with an employee population of its size, it was just a matter of time that some team members would test positive as COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly across the U.S.

“That’s why we acted early, asking some of our team members to work from home and those on site to do so in the smallest groups possible or with limited access and contact to other areas,” she pointed out. “We continue to ask everyone in our community to be a leader in demonstrating that social distancing is absolutely critical if we want to come out of this situation quicker by slowing the spread of the virus in our communities. We’re monitoring the situation closely and continue to take appropriate measures daily to ensure our team members are safe and our operations are being run safely.”

On Friday, Eastman issued a release asking everyone to follow social distancing guidelines both at work and outside of work and encourage others to do the same.

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