Reports: Work at Shell cracker plant will stop because of increase in coronavirus cases

BEAVER CO., Pa. — There have been nine confirmed COVID-19 cases at Shell Chemical’s new ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, according to a company spokesperson.

Shell has no plans to stop construction of the cracker plant, despite reports that work would come to a halt this week due to an increase in cases there.

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According to the company, nine employees out of 3,500 have the coronavirus. The plant had about 8,000 employees on-site before the pandemic.

A spokesperson told Channel 11 they are following all Pa. health guidelines and enforcing social distancing procedures.

When Beaver County transitioned to the state’s “green phase” of reopening, Shell updated its protocols. Buses carry about 26 workers on each trip now, 50% capacity. Buses are loaded back to front, and unloaded front to back, representatives said, and masks are required.

You can read the full statement below:

“When Beaver County went into the green phase, we updated our bussing protocols, consistent with State public health transportation-related guidelines for that phase. As a result, our busses are at 50% capacity, or roughly 26 workers per bus. Masks are required when on busses, and passengers load back to front and unload front to back. In addition, we continue to deep-clean the busses between trips and have site protocols in place that include social distancing guidelines, temperature screening for employees coming onsite and fixed lunchroom seating that includes plexiglass dividers at tables. When workers are found to be out of compliance, we intervene to enforce compliance.”