COVID-19 Response Team

  • Pivot a 24/7 manufacturing facility to work-from-home model.
  • Safely operate a CPG manufacturing facility without spreading COVID-19.
  • Operate multiple food and beverage (F&B) locations within a highly regulated state environment and continually changing COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Minimize exposure risk to manufacturing plant and ensure (to most reasonable extent possible) employee safety
    • Manufacturing facility: pivot administrative work to work-from-home model to reduce exposure to teams that cannot work from home (operations).
    • Developed rotating schedules to reduce on-site interactions for multi-person teams.
    • Encouraged employees to stay home when sick/exposed, seek medical advice; get tested. Employees used FFCRA hours to cover lost time.
    • Implemented minimal staffing levels to run plant.
    • Transitioned shift handoffs from in-person to digital information-sharing sessions.
    • F&B: shifted managers’ administrative duties to remote model; shortened and staggered restaurant staff schedules to reduce overlap between shifts.
    • If not eligible for full work-from-home schedule, instructed employees to minimize on-site time (ex. lab analysts perform experiments in brewery lab; write reports at home).
    • Prohibited non-employees from facility, except essential contractors/vendors.

  • Improved technology:
    • Expanded VPN (virtual private network) capacity.
    • Increased MS Teams licenses (promoted remote meetings).
    • Assigned additional laptops (facilitated work-from-home transitions).
    • Expanded mobile time clocks (reduced shared contact surfaces).
    • Installed HEPA air filters in common areas.

  • Communication:
    • Daily COVID-19 pulse surveys (segmented by business location).
    • COVID-19 response teams for F&B and plant managers facilitated sharing of best practices, public health directives; questions.
    • Town Hall-style virtual meetings (facilitated by HR, Safety, and Senior Leadership)
    • Ongoing emails, including a “State of the Pandemic” all-employee email in December (highlighting the requirements of Oregon’s OSHA Administrative Rule 437-001-0744).
  • To date, have had only 6 positive COVID cases (out of total company size of 230 to a 6.2% weekly positivity rate (Deschutes County) and 4.4% (Multnomah County) (Data for the week of 1/10/21-1/23/21).
  • No shutdowns of plant operations due to COVID-19 outbreaks or staffing shortages.
  • Employee safety.

Faye Gardner, Director of HR 


We are crafted for community and committed to ensuring a safe and inclusive work environment for our co-owners. This is particularly imperative during an unprecedented pandemic. We strive to learn, listen and improve, knowing together our unique perspectives and experiences will make a substantial positive impact on our business, industry, communities and individuals.

Michael LaLonde
CEO, Deschutes Brewery
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