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caption: A Boeing employee walks out of the Boeing Renton Factory after shift change on Monday, December 16, 2019, in Renton.
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A Boeing employee walks out of the Boeing Renton Factory after shift change on Monday, December 16, 2019, in Renton.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Boeing to resume airplane production in Washington state

Boeing says it is restarting production of commercial airplanes. The move brings 27,000 people back to work. It also begins to answer questions about how others might re-enter the workplace.

The first crews will be back as soon as Monday, April 20. Every line will see workers return, from the MAX to the 747.

Boeing says workers will stagger their shifts to reduce the flow of people and face masks will be mandatory. When workers are operating in close quarters, additional protective gear will be used.

There will be temperature checks. Workers are expected to stay away if ill. And when an employee tests positive for Covid-19, their contacts will be traced.

Boeing announced it would stop production of commercial airplanes in late March, shortly before governor Jay Inslee shut down non-essential businesses. Before the shutdown, despite the company's distancing efforts and hygiene improvements, several workers fell ill with Covid-19. One Everett worker died.