Whirlpool Shuts Amana Plant; Warns of Possible Production Slowdowns

Whirlpool has temporarily suspended manufacturing operations at its Amana, Iowa, facility after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a report by local KCRG-TV9, the plant was closed pending a precautionary deep cleaning while Whirlpool attempts to determine if any other workers were exposed to coronavirus. The afflicted employee has since been hospitalized, the TV station said.

The Amana plant assembles French door, bottom freezer and built-in refrigeration products under the Amana, JennAir, KitchenAid, Maytag and Whirlpool brands. In a statement, U.S. Sales Vice President David Cichocki noted that the facility’s fulfillment distribution center “continues to be operational; we are loading and shipping products as normal.”

Separately, Whirlpool is warning investors that demand disruptions and production impacts from the pandemic could slightly exceed the company’s previously estimated hit to first-quarter earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $25 billion to $40 billion. It added that production has returned to near full capacity in China, but that U.S. manufacturing could be reduced in line with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other regulatory agencies.