Los Angeles Apparel reports 2 more cases of COVID-19 in what officials called an 'open outbreak investigation'
- At least 377 workers at
Los Angeles Apparelhave tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Los AngelesCounty Department of Public Health. Dov Charney, the company's founder, denied there was an "outbreak" at his company in a July interview with Business Insider.
- Since then, two more workers have caught the coronavirus.
- "The facility is under surveillance and is following infection control measures and the facility is reporting cases that immediately come to their attention to Public Health as they have been instructed to do," a spokesperson for the health department told Business Insider.
Los Angeles Apparel founder Dov Charney denied last month that there is an "outbreak" of COVID-19 at his company, but local health officials say the brand — which was shut down for weeks earlier this year after 375 employees tested positive for the coronavirus — has reported two more cases of the viral disease over 14 days.
"The investigation at LA Apparel is still an open outbreak investigation," a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health told Business Insider last week.
"Through our investigation of these two new cases, social distancing measures were adhered to and no other employees were exposed," the spokesperson added. "The facility will remain under surveillance."
The company did not respond to a request for comment on what support it is providing infected staff or about the two other infections. Charney did not respond when Business Insider asked about the Department of Public Health's recent statement.
In a July interview with Business Insider, Charney, the former head of American Apparel who was forced out over allegations of serial sexual harassment and financial mismanagement (allegations he denies), insisted that the problems at his company reflected the community with which it was in.
"We have not had an outbreak at Los Angeles Apparel," Charney asserted, citing an infection rate of 15% that he said mirrored a local health clinic's test results. The clinic denied this, and his math hinged on there being 300 cases, not 375. By comparison, Los Angeles County's positive test rate has not exceeded 10% over the last two months.
Now the toll has risen to at least 377, with four workers dead, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which first shuttered Charney's operations in late June over what inspectors and former employees said was a lack of social distancing.
"We live in a free society," Charney told Business Insider soon after. "It's not like Big Brother can be there all the time."
After its closure, operations are up and running again under the eye of public health authorities, which say conditions have improved after their demands — safety training for employees and better enforcement of physical distancing at their workplace — were met.
"The facility is under surveillance and is following infection control measures and the facility is reporting cases that immediately come to their attention... as they have been instructed to do," the spokesperson said.
Reopened, Los Angeles Apparel is once more fulfilling mask orders for the federal government, including the US Air Force, as The Daily Beast reported, under a contract that labels the company a "small disadvantaged business."
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