Home / Health / The outbreak of the coronavirus strikes Los Angeles Apparel with more than 300 infections and 4 deaths among employees

The outbreak of the coronavirus strikes Los Angeles Apparel with more than 300 infections and 4 deaths among employees

A coronavirus outbreak has hit Los Angeles Apparel’s operations with more than 300 infections and four virus-related deaths among the manufacturer’s workers, public health officials said on Friday.

In a statement on Friday night, the Los Angeles County Department of Health said it had stopped operating the apparel manufacturer in South LA on June 27 for the first time after inspectors “manifestly violated” public health infection control regulations and found the company̵

7;s lack of collaboration with a company investigation into a reported coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, the department ordered the continued shutdown of the Los Angeles Apparel business.

Los Angeles Apparel, founded in 2016 by the overthrown founder of American Apparel, Dov Charney, had switched its business to mask making during the pandemic.

“The deaths of four dedicated textile workers is heartbreaking and tragic,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in the county, in a statement. “Entrepreneurs and operators have an entrepreneurial, moral and social responsibility towards their employees and their families in order to create a safe working environment that complies with all guidelines of the health officer. This responsibility is more important today than ever as we continue to fight this deadly virus. “

In an interview, Charney said his company’s communication with the department was “a maze of contradicting directions” and described the characterization of the alleged negligence of Los Angeles Apparel as “outrageous.” He said the company had worked in the past few months to have all employees tested multiple times and that higher infection rates in communities like South LA would of course be reflected in a factory there.

“We believe that since the epidemic began, we’ve always done our best to create social distance and follow every known policy,” he said. “We’re dealing with a massive epidemic that has grown astronomically in our community in South LA and is manifesting in our factory.”

The outbreak is one of the largest in a workplace that has been reported in the district so far. In May, health officials announced COVID-19 outbreaks that affected nine industrial plants in Vernon, including five meat packaging plants. The biggest outbreak occurred at Smithfield Foods’ Farmer John plant – maker of the Dodger Dog – where 153 of 1,837 employees tested positive for COVID-19 from March through May.

Three of the corona virus-related deaths in Los Angeles Apparel workers occurred in early June and one in early July, health officials said.

In its statement, the health authority said that a health care provider informed him on June 19 of a possible outbreak. As part of the investigation, health officials asked the company for a list of all employees, which it could then compare with the test results the department received. The company did not provide the list after several requests.

During a site visit on June 26, the department said the inspectors found several violations of social distance requirements and infection control protocols, including the use of cardboard as a barrier between workers. Because of this visit and the company’s failure to provide a full list of employees, the department said it had decided to shut down operations until security standards were met.

At the beginning of July, health officials said they had received an “incomplete” list of the company’s employees, which could be used to determine the extent of the outbreak. The department said the company was reopening with new employees in violation of its order. Charney denied this and said the department had informed him this week that the company could be reopened.

Marissa Nuncio, director of the Garment Worker Center, said she started hearing from Los Angeles Apparel workers who had the coronavirus in May. Some, she said, raised concerns that social distance standards would be consistently met.

“With so many sick workers, four deaths, and efforts thwarted, things need to be cleaned up and corrected,” she said. “It makes sense for us that DPH takes these measures. Obviously, not enough is being done to protect workers. “

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