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El Milagro Shuts Down Western Avenue Tortilla Plant For 2 Weeks After Employee Dies Of COVID-19

CHICAGO (CBS) -- There were long lines outside the 26th Street El Milagro store in Little Village on Monday, after the tortilla maker announced it is shutting down for two weeks.

El Milagro is closing its Western Avenue plant after a longtime employee died from COVID-19.

In a letter to employees that the company distributed recently, El Milgaro said a longtime sanitation employee at its plant at 2919 S. Western Ave. died recently due to complications from the novel coronavirus. The employee had not been onside since Thursday, April 9, El Milagro said.

Two additional employees at the Western Avenue employee have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and four more have reported symptoms, El Milagro said in the letter. All are either quarantining at home or undergoing medical treatment, and the company is working to trace their contacts, El Milagro said.

The Western Avenue plant has been closed for two weeks for deep cleaning, and the company is educating staff on enhanced sanitation procedures. Employees have also been given masks that they were required to wear even before Gov. JB Pritzker's rule for wearing masks in public goes into effect.

The company even commissioned local tailors to sew masks when they were in short supply.

Workers at the Western Avenue plant will be paid during the two-week shutdown.

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