Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Workplace Complaints And COVID-19 Outbreak Investigations Surge In LA County

5f10c24a529597000da79374-eight.jpg
Women wearing facemasks exit the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall where a sign is posted at an entrance reminding people of the mask requirement on June 12, 2020. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today during our fall member drive.

Public health inspectors are receiving 2,000 to 3,000 complaints each week about businesses not complying with the county’s rules, according to Los Angeles County’s health officer.

The most common violations include failures to wear proper face coverings and to regularly sanitize high-touch areas, Dr. Muntu Davis told reporters today. L.A. County’s health department has opened 52 outbreak investigations at restaurants and 47 at grocery stores, he said.

Davis also gave an update today on the coronavirus outbreak among workers at Los Angeles Apparel, the clothing company started by former American Apparel CEO Dov Charney.

Last week, it was reported that four workers had died from COVID-19, and the county has now confirmed 375 positive cases among L.A. Apparel’s 2,290 employees, according to Davis. The clothing company remains closed.

Support for LAist comes from

“This is the largest outbreak investigation that we have at this time,” he said.

Davis also mentioned the “concerning milestones” L.A. County has reached this week, including record highs for daily confirmed cases and hospitalizations. Deaths from COVID-19 rose sharply this week, with health officials reporting 73 new deaths on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that reinstating the strict stay-at-home order isn't off the table.

The reason behind the surge, Davis said: “We're not seeing compliance that we need with the public health directives in place to keep people's health and livelihoods safe.”

Support for LAist comes from
“Looking at the largest outbreaks that we are on our list, the ones with the highest numbers of coronavirus cases have occurred in food processing and distribution facilities — including meatpacking plants — manufacturing facilities, garment factories, and wholesale warehouses.”

People who work in those facilities are at higher risk, Davis explained, because of the large number of employees working long shifts indoors in close proximity with each other.

Davis did not provide details about enforcement, like how many businesses had been shut down, or if there are enough inspectors to follow through on the high volume of complaints pouring in.

The health department has a hotline for workers to report unsafe work conditions anonymously: 888-700-9995.

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.

MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

Support for LAist comes from