LA County health department is investigating reports of two COVID-19 deaths at a Commerce food processing facility, one in three in the county that were allowed to reopen after they were closed earlier this week for failing to report coronavirus outbreaks, they said Thursday.
The deaths were reported at Mission Foods Corp., which had 49 employees tested positive for the virus, LA County Health Officer Dr. Mount Davis said at a briefing Thursday.
The health department said one of the people who died was a resident of LA County, and the other was living outside the department’s jurisdiction.
The head of maintenance at the facility, 67-year-old Jose Roberto Alvarez, died of COVID-19 last week and is believed to have injured the coronavirus at his Commerce workplace, according to his daughter Alisha Alvarez, who said her family found out about her bursting into the facility through the media, and not from her father’s employer.
Mission Foods issued a statement saying they have been implementing safety measures that “exceed health authorities’ requirements,” including the provision of face masks and social breakdowns, the installation of plexiglass barriers and restraints. of the use of common areas.
“We have worked hard to keep our employees informed since the pandemic began in early March,” Regional Director of Manufacturing at Mission Foods Paul de la O said in a statement.
The other two food facilities that were ordered to close on Sunday are S&S Foods in Azusa and Golden State Foods Corp. in Industry City, which had 60 and 47 cases of coronavirus respectively.
“In all three outbreaks, employers failed to notify the Department of Public Health when there were three positive cases identified among their employees,” Davis said, explaining that the department found out about outbreaks from a line of lment anonymous.
The complaints line receives about 2,000 to 3,000 complaints a week, and the department is currently investigating more than 1,000 outbreaks of coronavirus in the county, according to Davis.
In a statement to the media, Golden State Foods said it has been reporting its COVID-19 cases to “necessary authorities,” but said the LA County Department of Public Health has not communicated its reporting requirements. to manufacturers.
“This was simply a matter of reporting procedure, and LA County Department of Public Health officials were satisfied with the comprehensive, preventive and operational protocols of the GSF COVID-19. The GSF has been pursuing all other state, federal and international reporting needs, and LA County was the only exception for a one-day period in July, ”the statement said.
In response to questions about what manufacturers were violating, Davis said: “The fact that they came in through anonymous tips means they were violating protocols.”
The LA Times reports the department’s obligation to report when there are three known cases in force at least June 11.
“That’s part of the protocols, not only to have what you need in the facility itself but also keep reporting when needed so we can help guide and make sure the rest of the workers are safe once it’s identified in the workplace, ”he said.
The health official said all three facilities were allowed to reopen this week after providing the department with the information needed to assess and guide their response, and they will all continue to get unannounced inspections to ensure compliance with protocols.
“Businesses have a corporate and moral, and social responsibility for their employees, and for the families of their employees to provide a safe work environment,” he said.
Suggest a correction