RICHMOND TWP., Pa. - Berks County's largest employer said it's working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through its sprawling facilities.

As of Thursday, East Penn Manufacturing said in a letter to its employees that three people who work at its facilities in Berks and Lehigh counties have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The Richmond Township-based battery-making company, which employs more than 8,000 people in Berks County, said its COVID-19 Response Team has reached out to those who may have had contact with the infected individuals for medical screening.

Pending the outcome of that screening, those employees may be removed from the workplace and placed in quarantine, officials said. The potentially exposed areas of the workplace will also be cleaned and disinfected.

"We are making every effort to protect employees while they are here at East Penn," the company's leaders said in a letter to their employees. "We are concerned for all of those affected by this difficult situation. In this unprecedented time we ask that we support each other and that everyone follows necessary guidelines both at work and at home."

East Penn began to suspend its operations on March 20, after Gov. Tom Wolf ordered a statewide shutdown of all non-essential businesses. A few days later, the company was granted a waiver to continue its work.

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