Continental in Sumter shutting down for 2 weeks amid COVID-19's economic slowdown


As the economic crisis associated with COVID-19 continues to take shape, Sumter’s largest private-sector employer has decided to temporarily shut down operations for two weeks.

Sumter Economic Development Board Chairman Greg Thompson confirmed the announcement with The Sumter Item late Tuesday.

Thompson said he spoke to a plant official at Continental in Sumter who confirmed the two-week shutdown. He said the suspension of operations is out of precaution in the wake of the coronavirus and not due to any confirmed cases at the plant.

The news comes as several other major production companies in the state, including Boeing, Volvo and BMW, have announced plans to temporarily suspend work at their plants.

In the last two weeks, U.S. and international automobile makers announced shutdown plans, and Continental is a leading supplier of tires to car manufacturers.

State Department of Employment and Workforce officials have confirmed in the last week that laid-off employees in temporary shutdowns associated with COVID-19 are eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits if they are not receiving wages from their employer.