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UPDATE: Omega Cabinetry temporarily closing due to COVID-19, furloughing employees

UPDATE: Omega Cabinetry temporarily closing due to COVID-19, furloughing employees

From the Coronavirus update Northeast Iowa series

Burmese employees hand sand front panels for cabinets at Omega Cabinets in Waterloo.

WATERLOO — Omega Cabinetry is temporarily closing its facilities and putting employees on furlough.

An employee recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to the company, as coronavirus cases are spiking in Black Hawk County.

MasterBrand Cabinets, Omega’s parent company, announced a 1-1/2 week closure of their facility at 1205 Peters Drive in a statement released to the media Thursday.

“MasterBrand Cabinets is making the decision to temporarily close its Waterloo facility until May 4,” a company spokesperson said in the 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.”

The spokesperson said Omega’s approximately 800 employees were informed Thursday that they are being placed on furlough.

“We are encouraging them to remain at home as much as possible and continue monitoring their health,” said the spokesperson. “Health care benefits for employees will continue in the near term with MasterBrand covering the employee portion in addition to the company cost for up to two weeks.

“We are currently targeting May 4 for a re-opening but will be monitoring the situation daily. When we re-open, we will continue with the increased safety measures we’ve taken throughout this crisis to keep our employees safe.”

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Staff Writer

After 18-plus years reporting on local education, I’ve graduated to covering the city of Cedar Falls. Family and church commitments keep me busy outside of work along with lots of biking, rowing and skiing – pretty good for a guy with fake hips.

Related to this story

Black Hawk County health officials said the county was reporting 622 coronavirus infections as of Thursday, over 200 more cases than the state was reporting Thursday for the county, with the vast majority of them linked to a recently-closed meatpacking plant.

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