Micron expects to resume normal operations at its Chinese DRAM facility in Xi’an later this month, despite being locked out following a COVID-19 outbreak about two weeks ago.

“We expect a return to normal later this month,” said David Zinsner, chief financial officer of Micron, during a webcast for the JP Morgan Auto / Tech conference this week.

Micron assembles and tests DRAM at the Xi’an site. The biz last week noted it downsized the facility’s staff and operations after Xi’an was shut down in December. Samsung, which also has manufacturing facilities in Xi’an, the same day announcement she too had reduced her operations.

Micron says it has improved airflow systems and increased on-site testing and electronic contact tracing.

“COVID cases are on the decline and … we expect some restrictions to ease and that will allow us to fully staff this facility,” Zinsner added.

Xi’an is located in China’s Shaanxi Province, which apparently has checked in 1,691 cases of COVID-19 since December 23. The number of cases peaked at 188 on January 3 and fell to 36 the next day, according to available figures.

The pandemic has already put Micron to the test of plant closures, so the company has stepped up operations at other facilities around the world to offset the volume.

The slowdown in production in Xi’an will impact Micron in terms of the timing of shipments, although Zinsner said the company expects to largely recover by the end of the quarter. Micron’s plant in Xi’an generates a significant volume of DRAM for customers outside of the United States, primarily in China and Asia.

“When we produce in China and bring this product back to the United States, it incurs tariffs, so we try to avoid shipping it to American customers from our factory in Xi’an,” Zinsner said. ®