Just Born Quality Confections has once again extended the temporary suspension of production at its facilities in Philadelphia and Bethlehem, Pa.
The company said Pennsylvania health officials are predicting a peak in COVID-19 cases this week, so Just Born has suspended production through May 3. Employees will continue to be paid during this time.
“The COVID-19 virus has brought unprecedented hardships and challenges to all of us,” Just Born said in a statement. “Although deemed an ‘essential business’ by state and federal authorities, we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend production at the end of March to help ‘flatten the curve’ while helping ensure the health and safety of our associates, which is our top priority.”
Just Born said its internal COVID-19 task force will continue to regularly monitor the impact of the virus. However, unless the situation worsens, production is set to resume May 4.
“We have already been making changes to processes and procedures in our facilities to help optimize our associates’ health and safety when they return,” the company said. “We will also provide a temporary increase in pay for those plant associates who return to work. These actions will enable us to get back to business, service our customers and bring sweetness to the lives of our loyal fans.”
Just Born expects its everyday brands — Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews — will go out of stock before production resumes. The company asked for patience in the meantime.
Just Born said it’s also found ways to support its community during the outbreak, including donating almost 15,000 plastic gloves, 120 N95 masks and candy to local hospitals. Additionally, it partnered with its local United Way on a COVID-19 Community Response Fund which provides a rapid, informed and coordinated approach to assessing community need and getting dollars where they are needed most.