Crocs released a statement to clarify inferences drawn from public comments made last Thursday during Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s conference about a viral “outbreak” taking place at its Dayton distribution center.

The comments referenced several local employers, including Crocs, who had experienced recent viral outbreaks.

“Recently, Crocs was the first company in the Dayton area to voluntarily partner with the Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County to require mandatory COVID-19 testing for all employees and contractors within our Ohio Distribution Center as a preventative measure,” Crocs SVP and chief people officer Shannon Sisler said in a statement on June 22. “Results from that recent testing yielded just 2 percent positive cases out of a population of approximately 850 participants, all of which were asymptomatic. There has been no traceable evidence of community spread within our facility. By definition, this not an outbreak, rather an example of how testing can be a proactive measure to manage the potential spread of this virus to keep people – our employees – safe.”

Crocs’ statement noted that beyond testing, other steps it has taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 include requiring masks, physical distancing, temperature and symptom checking, and heightened hygiene and cleaning procedures.

The statement was attained by Dayton Business Journal.

In a tweet on Monday, DeWine likewise clarified his comments, ”Thanks to @Crocs for taking the lead in protecting their staff by voluntarily testing the entire #Dayton workforce for #COVID-19,” “Only 2% positive results — none showing symptoms. This demonstrates the power of the hygiene/safety protocols that they continue to take.”

Crocs opened the distribution center, which is near the Dayton International Airport, last year and this week announced plans to open a second distribution center of similar size in the same area.

In Crocs’ statement, Jeff Cooper, health commissioner for Public Health, Dayton and Montgomery County, said the organization is “pleased about the concern Crocs has shown to help us stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

“We encourage all businesses to follow Crocs’ lead and support testing in their workforce when conditions warrant. Any business could possibly see a spread of COVID-19, and we encourage all employers to take similar steps such as those undertaken by Crocs to protect their workforce and visitors. Even if a business does everything correctly, there is a possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak due to how contagious the virus is.”

“We know COVID-19 is spreading in our community and creating safe work environments is critical to our ability to keep businesses open during this global pandemic,” Dayton Development Coalition President and CEO Jeff Hoagland stated. “We applaud the action Crocs took to protect its workforce. By collaborating with the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health Department early on and implementing a testing program once cases were identified, Crocs offers an example of how a company can respond to our current health threats.”

The measures come as Crocs continues to grow its Dayton-area workforce.

“Crocs has already proven to be an outstanding partner in Ohio by greatly exceeding its job commitments and donating thousands of shoes for healthcare workers during this pandemic,” JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef stated. “On top of these actions, we are grateful Crocs took the initiative to test all of its more than 800 fulfillment workers and quarantining 21 associates who tested positive, which is an example of operating a business with the safety of the community as its highest priority.”

Photo courtesy Crocs