Another major employer in Waterloo has temporarily suspended operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 800 workers at Omega Cabinetry were told Thursday morning that they were being furloughed. A spokesperson for Omega's parent company, MasterBrand Cabinets of Jasper, Ind., said production is being halted at the Waterloo facility until at least May 4.

According to the company, the shutdown is connected to the coronavirus pandemic. A Masterbrands spokesperson emailed the following statement:

"Although there has only been one confirmed case of COVID-19 within our workforce, we have been evaluating developments in the area and believe this is an important step to take not just for our employees, but for the public health of the Waterloo community we are proud to call home."

Company officials are encouraging Omega employees to remain at home as much as possible and continue monitoring their health. According to the spokesperson, healthcare benefits for the Waterloo workers "will continue in the near term with MasterBrand covering the employee portion" (plus) the company cost for up to two weeks."

The spokesperson said company officials are targeting May 4 for a reopening, and plan to monitor the situation daily.

"When we reopen, we will continue with the increased safety measures we've taken throughout this crisis to keep our employees safe."

The decision to suspend operations at Omega Cabinetry comes one day after Tyson Foods announced it was indefinitely halting production at the pork processing plant in Waterloo, Tyson's largest, due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases there. The Tyson plant in Waterloo employs around 2,800 workers.

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