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May 20, 2020

Sonoran factories prepare for possible June 1 reopening

The Mexican government recently expanded its definition of essential businesses, and some Nogales plants may qualify.

Many of Sonora’s numerous export manufacturing plants are preparing for a possible reopening on June 1.

The Mexican government expanded its definition of essential businesses to include mining, construction and the manufacture of transportation equipment, according to a recent decree. Many Sonoran plants specialize in auto parts and similar products. Josh Rubin, with Nogales, Sonora factory shelter firm Javid LLC, is hoping many of the city’s dozens of plants qualify.

“It doesn’t specify as automotive, it doesn’t specify as aerospace, it doesn't specify anything. It just says transportation,” Rubin said. “In my mind, I’m taking that to the best of my ability and saying that constitutes anything that has to do with transportation of people: trains, planes and automobiles basically.”

Plants will need to implement a number of safety protocols, including providing sanitizer, conducting temperature checks, safe distancing and shift changes to avoid large groups, according to a federal document.

Cases have been rising quickly in the state, where more than 1,000 have now been confirmed. As of Tuesday afternoon, 79 had died, including six in Nogales, according to state figures.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
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