Alarmed by a rising number of coronavirus infections among meatpacking workers in Vernon, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday gave local health officials and plant operators one week to review worker safety protocols and report back.
The order, introduced by Supervisor Hilda Solis and passed by a 5-0 vote, followed reports this weekend of coronavirus clusters in at least nine facilities in the small industrial city south of downtown Los Angeles, including five meatpacking plants.
“I was very alarmed about what I heard, and thought, ‘What the heck is going on?’” Solis said in an interview after the supervisors’ Tuesday meeting.
According to county health officials, the largest outbreak was at the Smithfield Foods-owned Farmer John plant, which produces the Dodger Dog. There, 153 of 1,837 employees tested positive for COVID-19 between March and May, county officials said.
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