Business operations to continue as usual without any further restrictions
Update as of October 28, 2020:
After more than a week of waiting, all the results from the series of tests carried out on October 19 and 20 are finally available. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the laboratories commissioned was so overstretched that it was unable to keep to the two to three days originally stated.
We can now say with certainty that all 333 employees who were tested as part of the series of tests tested negative for Covid-19. A total of over 400 employees have been swabbed over the past two weeks. Nineteen tests came back positive. Thirteen cases can be traced back to one office building. The other cases have been traced back to the employees’ families or personal circles.
Thankfully, none of those affected have been seriously ill. Of those affected, only five are still currently self-isolating. The others are no longer considered contagious as more than ten days have passed since they tested positive. Twelve employees are or were also self-isolating as a result of coming into contact with a positive case through company, family or personal contacts.
We would like to wholeheartedly thank all of our customers and business partners for their support and well wishes at this difficult time.
Update as of October 23, 2020:
At present, we are aware of 17 employees who have tested positive. Of these, 90 percent are from the same department and the same office building in question, i.e. from a very limited area. The remaining employees to test positive are individual cases traced to their domestic environments and not from cases within the company. Anyone within the company in close contact with those who tested positive have since tested negative via a rapid test.
To what extent further cases within the personal circles of affected employees can be traced to the outbreak in our company is unclear as it cannot be ascertained beyond doubt who infected whom.
In the meantime, we have received the first results from the series of tests carried out on October 19 and 20: All 110 employees from the production and logistics departments who work the late and night shifts and who were tested on October 19 tested negative. Further results from testing on October 19 are gradually coming in as of the morning of October 23. It is not clear when the full results from the series of tests carried out will be available as a result of the high volume in the test laboratory used.
More than 400 employees were tested, some of them multiple times. Of this number, 333 were tested as part of the general series of tests while 78 were from the office building in question. The latter all tested negative. Any absent employees were asked to get themselves tested independently.
We have currently received around 200 negative test results. More than 200 results from the series of tests carried out on October 19 and 20 are still pending.
We would like to thank the health authorities for their work with us. Thanks to our Health and Safety Plan, which the authorities praised as exemplary, we can assure you that we have the current situation under control and are doing everything in our power to prevent new cases.
Information as of October 21, 2020:
On October 14, 2020, the first case of Covid-19 was reported among Kräuter Mix employees. As of October 20, thirteen employees who work at an office building at the company’s Abtswind headquarters have tested positive.
In light of the current situation, as soon as the first Covid-19 case was reported, the anti-coronavirus protective measures in place in the company since March were tightened as part of our Health and Safety Plan. Anyone who had come into contact with the infected individuals was immediately traced and informed internally before being asked to take a Covid-19 test and self-isolate at home. The office building in question was fully disinfected and fumigated on October 14.
We have asked all employees company-wide to exercise the utmost caution and to continue to strictly observe Health and Safety rules. A mouth and nose covering must be worn in shared areas such as break rooms and bathrooms, when working in other offices or teams and anywhere a safe distance of two meters between people cannot be maintained.
The employees from the office building concerned were immediately sent for testing last week. The test results available so far have been negative with some individual results still pending. Until then, these employees are either working from home or wearing protective masks at work. As Production and Logistics are not affected, operations can continue as usual without any further restrictions.
Ever since the first reports of Covid-19 cases in China at the beginning of this year, Kräuter Mix has been following the assessments and recommendations from the Robert Koch Institute, the German Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. Kräuter Mix has also been carefully monitoring any new information on and developments regarding cases of Covid-19.
Since March, Kräuter Mix has taken extensive action as part of its Health and Safety Plan to protect employee health and ensure the company continues operating as best as it possibly can. Among other things, all business trips and trade fair visits have been canceled and visitor interactions within the company have been closely regulated. Our employees were asked to maintain good hygiene practices, to air rooms regularly and to keep a minimum distance of two meters from colleagues and visitors at work. Where this is not possible, protective Plexiglas screens were put up and masks are required.
Furthermore, additional hand sanitizer dispensers were set up at entrances and other central locations at the company, mouth-nose coverings and protective masks were provided, and the buildings are being cleaned more frequently. In addition, work-from-home models were expanded and a modified shift system with coordinated working hours and break rules was introduced to keep contact between colleagues to a minimum. Since March, the company has also had a coronavirus working group in place that meets at regular intervals to discuss measures.
At present, neither the health authorities nor any other authorities have imposed any requirements regarding how we are handling the infection. Nevertheless, our company is in constant, close and transparent contact with the health authorities. In order to assist the health authorities in tracing chains of infection without any gaps, we have provided the authorities with the contact details of the employees concerned (category 1 and 2 contacts).
On October 19, we immediately submitted our Health and Safety Plan for examination at the request of the health authorities. Our company was inspected the very same day by representatives of the health authorities in order to check our Health and Safety Plan on site. No objections were raised by the health authorities.
As a precautionary measure, all employees across all departments and at both company sites in Abtswind and Wiesentheid were tested for Covid-19 on October 19 and 20 by three teams of doctors during a series of tests throughout the company. This was with the exception of colleagues who have currently been absent for a long period of time and are not present on site owing to, for instance, parental leave, an extended period of annual leave or ongoing sick leave. According to our company physician, the results should be available two to three days after the test.
Until a negative result is received, all employees with the exception of those working in single-occupancy offices are required to wear masks. In addition, any employees of third-party companies present were offered on-site testing. They have been obliged to wear masks on our premises since March.