An employee from Quad/Graphics’ West Allis facility passed away on April 8 from COVID-19, the Sussex-based company said in a statement Monday. The employee had not been in the facility for more than two weeks prior to his death, Quad said. “We grieve for this tragic loss of life, and extend our deepest sympathies to our employee’s family members and friends,” said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Quad. As of April 13, Wisconsin had seen 154 deaths from the coronavirus, including 94 in Milwaukee County. There have been 123 deaths in southeastern Wisconsin. Quadracci said the company’s top priority is the health and well-being of employees and their families. “As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we are committed to doing the right thing, which means we remain focused doing everything within our control to protect the health of our employees and ensure we remain a viable employer for them long into the future,” Quadracci said. The company said it is following CDC and health department guidance for responding to situations involving the coronavirus. Those processes including working with employees with or suspected to have COVID-19 to proactively reach out to those who may have had prolonged contact to determine next steps, including self-quarantining and getting medical attention. Quad also said workstations and equipment are disinfected daily or more often as needed. Two weeks ago, Quad announced several business actions it was taking in response to economic challenges created by the coronavirus response. Along with pay cuts and furloughs, the company said it would suspend production at some plants. None of those plants were in Wisconsin. Quad employs around 16,000 people in the U.S. across 49 plants and 75 client onsite locations. In an interview with BizTimes following the announcement of the business actions, Quadracci noted that many of the company’s administrative employees are working remote and production operations don’t tend to bring people together into groups. “The nature of our manufacturing beast here is we aren’t clustered anyway. We’ve got these huge pieces of equipment with lots of automation,” Quadracci said. Get more news and insights in the March 30 issue of BizTimes Milwaukee:
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