LA County Closes Business in Unlicensed COVID-19 Cases


Los Angeles County public health officials, in a move that could signal tougher enforcement of coronovirus reporting regulations, ordered the closure of three food delivery facilities this week, which they say sickened more than 140 employees Failed to report outbreaks.

The action highlights new enforcement measures from the Department of Public Health announced last week, including fines as well as the closure of businesses as the transition intensifies throughout the county.

The companies targeted this week were S&S Foods in Azusa, with 58 confirmed cases; Golden State Foods Corp in industry with 43 cases; And Mission Foods Corp. with 40 cases, according to the county department of public health in the county.

During a news conference on Monday, Department of Health director Barbara Ferrer said “there is significant outbreak among her staff.” “We were not informed – as in their three cases once we are required to be informed – and our inspectors have asked them to make some amendments to extend their infection control protocols at all three sites.”

Golden State Foods was allowed to open on Monday night after complying with county requirements. Mission Foods has submitted the necessary information to the Health Department, which was reviewing it till Tuesday night. S&S Foods remains closed.

Representatives for S&S Foods and Mission Foods did not respond to requests for comment.

Elevated enforcement intensifies as an epidemic sweeps across Los Angeles County. At least 246 businesses, restaurants, colleges and government offices in La County have seen three or more confirmed COVID-19 cases among their employees since the outbreak began. According to the Department of Health, as of Tuesday, 3,119 employees at these sites had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

This includes large outbreaks in L.A. Apparel, where more than 384 workers have been taken ill at three sites in Florence, and at the Farmer John plant, a division of Smithfield Foods that produces Dodger Dog and other pork products Vernon employs 220 employees. Confirmed to be COVID-19.

Failing to follow a rule citing the closure of companies required them to notify the county of three or more infections between workers, but some companies have complained that they are not aware of the rule Was in force from at least 11 June. Outbreak of all three facilities was reported through anonymous complaint line of Public Health Department.

In late August, the County of Public Health began issuing unprofessional businesses ranging from $ 100 for first offense to $ 500 for additional offenses – and 30-day permit suspensions after multiple offenses.

Supervisor Hilda Solis, whose 1st district includes all three businesses, urged countywide companies to comply with the new rules.

“The necessary staff keeps our economy in motion, our shelves clean our food, our hospitals and they continue to do respectable work,” Solis said in a statement. “I urge employers to review guidance from the Department of Public Health so that they can fulfill their duty to keep their employees safe and healthy.”

Brian Dick, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Golden State Foods, said the company was unaware of the county’s requirement that county public health officials conduct a routine inspection of the plant on Friday until three or more cases should occur. After meeting specific reporting requirements by the company, county public health officials lifted the order that closed the plant.

The facility has 450 employees – who make sauces, dressings, syrups, spices and toppings for major fast-food restaurants including McDonald’s – who are required to wear protective masks, check their temperature and check for any possible contact. Let’s answer With the virus before entering, among other precautions. Dick said that workers in the factory are not required to live within six feet of each other.

He said that the company does not believe the outbreak from the way the facility is operating is necessary because there was no set of cases among the people who work together. Dick Jobs said the cases were spread among people with different jobs.

He said that employees get sick leave and are paid on time to inform the company whether they are exposed to the virus or not.

“Golden State Foods is not the kind of company that would think less about someone who is either living at home because they are ill, because a family member is ill, or as a precautionary measure,” Dick said .

He said that there were no fatalities among the 43 people who tested positive for the virus.

S&S Foods, which produces meat and other food products for large-scale food service companies, in 2008, E.W. After the outbreak of coli, 153,630 pounds of frozen ground beef was recalled.

The company’s parent, CTI Foods, says it specializes in “custom processing of value-added protein products”, including taco meat and pizza toppings.

Mission Foods is a major distributor of tortilla, chips and salsa sold in grocery stores.

Times staff writers Coleen Shalby and Soumya Karamalangala contributed to this report.

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