Two Eastman employees at Kingsport test positive for coronavirus

Local Coronavirus Coverage
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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Eastman Chemical Company confirmed with News Channel 11 Sunday that two of its Kingsport employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past few days.

“We have received confirmation that two team members at our Kingsport location have tested positive in the past couple of days for COVID-19. Both team members have been away from work since March 17 and are currently receiving the appropriate medical care from healthcare providers. 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.”

Betty Payne of Eastman Chemical Company

Eastman officials told News Channel 11 that the local public health department is in contact with other team members who worked closely with these affected employees, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control’s 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 said.

“With an employee population of our size, it was just a matter of time that some of our own 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.”

Betty Payne of Eastman Chemical Company

Eastman officials said the company will continue to ask everyone in the surrounding community to keep demonstrating social distancing as it is “absolutely critical if we want to come out of this situation quicker by slowing the spread of the virus in our communities.”

Officials say the company is monitoring the situation closely and continue to take appropriate measures daily to ensure team members are safe and operations are being run safely.

For more coverage on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, click here.

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