Los Angeles Apparel Shuts Down After More Than 100 Workers Test Positive for COVID-19
Los Angeles Apparel, the company founded by former American Apparel leader Dov Charney, was one of the first and most notable brands to use its manufacturing capabilities to make face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the company is temporarily shut down after the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health found more than 100 workers in its facility had tested positive for COVID-19.
According to NBC Los Angeles, all three of LA Apparel’s manufacturing plants in Los Angeles have been shut down. The tests yielded 23 positive results from one, 61 from another and 67 from the third.
The prominent garment manufacturer LA Apparel confirmed it is the unidentified company the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said it shut down over the weekend, after testing found more than 100 workers had tested positive for COVID-19. https://t.co/qsu0ie2CYZ
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) July 1, 2020
Charney told NBC that the shutdown affects about 2,000 Los Angeles Apparel employees, and that the company is working on carrying out another set of tests this week to provide multiple test results and get operations back up and running as quickly as possible.
And it’s not as if Los Angeles Apparel wasn’t practicing safe working techniques. NBC said that after visiting the manufacturing plant in March when it first started making the masks, every employee was seen wearing a mask and working several feet apart to ensure social distancing. That was obviously when the cameras were rolling, however. Marissa Nuncio, director of the Garment Worker Center advocacy group, told NBC that she heard from Los Angeles Apparel employees that these guidelines were not continually enforced.
In order to get back to work, Charney also said that he wants to “re-engineer” the workspace and meal break area to further enforce social distancing measures and mitigate risk of spreading the virus.
Echoing concerns from across the country, Charney said that it has been hard to get his employees tested for COVID-19 during the pandemic. NBC backed up his claim by finding that LA’s COVID-19 testing website shows that all appointments were filled for several days last week. He added that if there were “sufficient” testing capabilities, employees could be tested more regularly and there would be a smaller risk of them coming to work carrying the virus.
If he manages to get employees tested again soon, and enough of them test negative, Charney hopes to get Los Angeles Apparel back up and running within a few days. Obviously, that’s not all up to him, though.