How automakers keep COVID-19 off factory floors

Temperature checks before getting on to the factory floor...

social distancing during lunch breaks...

Masks on at all times while working...

and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning....

that's how auto factories in the midwest and the south are running at near-full speed even though COVID-19 cases are surging in the communities right outside their factory walls.

So far, there's been no major outbreaks on any of the factory floors operated by Detroit's Big Three, since General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler resumed production in May after the pandemic forced an unprecedented two-month shut down.

Some workers have tested positive for the coronavirus but safety measures put in place, like having employees log-in their health condition into a smartphone app, have largely kept those cases contained.

But in this health crisis - it's the face mask that has become the assembly lines' greatest tool.

GM's head of global manufacturing put it in simple words, telling Reuters, as far as protecting workers on the job "the mask is the foundation."

Face coverings might be a political controversy outside the factory floor.... but it's made for a rare show of unity between management and the United Auto Workers, which represents 156,000 factory employees: no mask, no work.

Labor and management have formed a taskforce that meets bi-weekly- an extraordinary level of coordination to share information and coordinate safety policies.

But the fight to keep COVID-19 out of the factory hasn't been without challenges.

Since face masks cover the mouth and nose, some workers say their breathing is restricted, making physical labor sometimes difficult...and the face-coverings make it harder to communicate on an already noisy factory floor.

Automakers have good reason to make sure their workers stay healthy - there's been a boom in auto sales as many Americans shun public transportation - and that stronger-than-expected sales recovery has automakers racing to keep up.