Several employees at Maruchan Virginia Inc. tested positive for COVID-19. 

This week, an outbreak of COVID-19 hit a Maruchan Ramen factory located in Chesterfield, Virginia. The facility reported that seven employees tested positive for the coronavirus; these employees are now safely self-quarantining at home. 

“We reported all cases to the Chesterfield County Health Department, as the safety and health of our employees and community remains our top priority. Following the discovery of the infections, we conducted a deep cleaning based on CDC guidelines, and we will continue to enforce safety and sanitization precautions above and beyond what has been outlined by the CDC and the health department, and, as of now the plant is in operation,” the company said in a statement

Despite the outbreak, the factory has decided to keep its doors open. 

According to a recent report published by Bloomberg, ramen (in addition to other non-perishable items) has been flying off the shelves since the pandemic began. Walmart, for example, said its online sales of ramen increased by 578 percent between February 23 and March 21, while other (similar) department stores noticed a 17 percent boost in sales in March compared to last year. 

This news comes shortly after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delayed the first phase of reopening the northern parts of Virginia, saying it was "too soon" to begin easing safety restrictions.

“The Phase One policies are a floor, not a ceiling. While the data show Virginia as a whole is are ready to slowly and deliberately ease some restrictions, it is too soon for Northern Virginia," Gov. Northam said. "I support the request from localities in this region to delay implementation of Phase One to protect public health.”

Even so, other parts of Virginia are set to begin reopening on Friday, May 15. According to the latest figures from the Virginia Department of Health, the state has more than 26,469 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 927 confirmed deaths.