Toyota extends shutdown amid COVID-19 pandemic

Toyota is extending its production shutdown to April 20 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The company also attributes the extended suspension to a decline in vehicle demand, according to a statement posted on the company’s website.

The shutdown applies to all automobile and component plants across North America, including Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.

On Wednesday, Toyota confirmed that a second Cambridge employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The company says the worker was in close contact with the first confirmed case.

That person was identified on March 18 and Toyota says they are currently self-isolating at home.

The automaker also says public health is contacting everyone who has close contact with the first person.

"The health and safety of our team members and communities is our top priority," says corporate communications manager Michael Bouliane. "Our thoughts are with our affected employees and their families."

The company says the logistics centres will continue to operate during this time in order to continue meeting customer needs.

Production suspension was initially set to last until April 6 at Toyota plants in North America.