More information has come to light after confirmation of a coronavirus case at Trane Technologies led to a shutdown of the Tyler plant.
The employee is counted as one of the Rusk County cases due to the employee's place or residence, according to local health authorities.
On Tuesday Trane employees were notified of that a worker at the Tyler factory had tested positive for COVID-19. Trane shut down the plant for a deep cleaning and remains down. A spokesperson for the company said the plant would reopen as soon as possible.
During a press conference at Tyler City Hall on Wednesday, public health officials said they were not notified by Trane that the company believed it may have employees infected with the virus.
Trane told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that their local team had been in contact with local health departments, and health officials were only notified when there was a positive confirmed case. It also notified employees only after the employee's test was returned positive for the virus.
The employee is a resident of Rusk County, which saw its positive COVID-19 case count increase to 2 people on Tuesday.
Northeast Texas Public Health District CEO George Roberts said that although the plant is in Tyler the employee is not a resident of, and is not included in the now 21 positive cases in Smith County.
The plant employs about 1,450 people, according to Trane. The company said people working in close proximity to the employee were notified and have been under self-quarantine. The spokesperson did not specify how many individuals that was.
The Trane spokesperson said the business is categorized as “critical” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as they provide heating, cooling and ventilation services for residential, commercial, medical and transportation.