Fiat Chrysler ceasing production at North American plants amid coronavirus outbreak

Fiat Chrysler is temporarily ceasing production at all North American plants amid the coronavirus emergency.

FCA said it is beginning the closures progressively throughout the day Wednesday, March 18 at all U.S., Mexico and Canadian manufacturing facilities and will last through the end of March.

All Big Three auto manufacturers have now halted manufacturing in North America amid the coronavirus outbreak.  

FCA also opted to close a plant earlier on Wednesday in Sterling Heights after a worker there tested positive for the virus.

Tensions were growing among autoworkers for the Big Three. Cases in Michigan as of Wednesday afternoon are at 80, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said gatherings need to be limited to 50 people or less. Yet thousands were still working among each other at the Big Three factories.

The first death in Michigan has also now been confirmed.

RELATED: Track the spread of COVID-19 with our interactive map

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Since the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Michigan on March 10, Gov. Whitmer has declared a state emergency, closed all schools, prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people, restricted visits to hospitals and other facilities, closed public spaces such as theaters, bars, gyms and casinos, and limited restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders.  

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.