Los Angeles: 300 workers test COVID positive, 4 dead; garment factory closed indefinitely

Los Angeles: 300 workers test COVID positive, 4 dead; garment factory closed indefinitely

US health officials have ordered for continued closure of Los Angeles Apparel’s manufacturing facilities in South Los Angeles after 300 cases of coronavirus and death of four workers were reported.

The company’s manufacturing unit had shut on June 27 after it violated the county’s mandatory health orders. Multiple violations were noticed by officials who visited the facility on June 26, including violations of physical distancing and infection control protocols with use of cardboard as a barrier between the workers.

“The death of four dedicated garment workers is heartbreaking and tragic,” Dr Barbara Ferrer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was quoted as saying in a CNN report. Los Angeles Apparel was founded in 2016 by Dov Charney, who previously founded American Apparel.

Three workers from the unit had died last month and one more had died this month. The Department of Public Health had given the company detailed instructions and steps to be taken for reopening.

The department on July 4 received an incomplete list of all employees at the company with 198 positive results reported. The health department then, on comparing the list with results from laboratories, concluded that there were more than 300 positive cases of COVID-19 on the site.

“At this time, Los Angeles Apparel is under orders to remain closed until they can show that the facility is in full compliance with public health mandates,” the health department said.

Owner of the factory, Charney, disputed the assertion that the company had attempted to prevent health officials from entering the factory for inspection, saying they were only asked to wait until the firm’s legal counsel could arrive on site. 

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