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Boeing to resume work on commercial airplanes this week despite coronavirus concerns

Approximately 27,000 Boeing employees will return to work next week in staggered shifts to resume work on commercial airplane programs, including the 737 MAX.

SEATTLE — Boeing plans to resume production of its commercial airplanes at its Puget Sound facilities starting this week.

The company suspended all operations last month in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Approximately 27,000 workers will return to the production of the 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs, which support global transportation infrastructure, cargo services, and national defense and security missions, according to a release from Boeing on Thursday.

Employees will also resume working toward restarting the production of the 737 MAX jets. 

Puget Sound area employees for the 737, 747, 767, and 777 will return to work as early as April 20, with most returning to work by April 21. Employees for the 787 program will return as early as April 23, with most returning to work by April 24, Boeing said. 

RELATED: Boeing loses hundreds of orders amid coronavirus crisis

Employees will work in staggered shifts to reduce the flow of people arriving and departing work. The employees will also be required to wear face coverings, wash hands frequently, and perform "self-health checks" before coming to work and staying home if they are ill. 

Social distancing in the workplace will be required and if employees work on a program where social distancing isn't possible, then more personal protective equipment will be provided. 

Boeing will also perform contact tracing to limit the exposure to others if an employee does test positive for COVID-19.

Employees who can work from home will continue to do so, Boeing said in its release. 

Last week, about 2,500 Boeing employees returned to work on the company's defense production operations. 

Boeing South Carolina operations remain suspended at this time.

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