Late in the day on April 1, a Chino Mines employee notified the company about having tested positive for COVID-19. This employee was last at work the morning of March 26. The employees who were identified as having close contact with this individual were immediately directed to self-quarantine. The office area where this employee worked was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The workforce was notified of the positive case early on April 2.

On April 3, Freeport-McMoRan was notified by health-care providers that other employees were tested and some may have been exhibiting symptoms. Upon learning this, the company immediately sent a communication to employees stating that they should go home immediately if feeling ill and stressed the importance of adhering to recommended social distancing guidelines.

Since then, the company has learned of two additional employees who tested positive for COVID-19 after having contact with the initial employee. The company worked with the New Mexico Department of Health to help ensure those who may have had contact with these individuals were notified.

As always, the health and safety of Freeport employees, their families and our community is the top priority, the company said in a news release. "We remain vigilant in our efforts to protect our workforce and continue to act on daily guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our company Medical Director and local and state public health agencies to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus." 

These efforts – many of which began in mid-March – include social distancing, enhancing cleaning protocols, staggering shift changes and requiring those who can work from home to do so. This week, in addition to verbally screening all visitors, "we will begin conducting temperature checks. We also continue to emphasize the importance of staying home if ill and adjusted our pay and leave practices weeks ago to support this."