Los Angeles Apparel reopens after 2nd shutdown over coronavirus outbreaks

Local news
Los Angeles Apparel holds a health and safety training session for its employees on July 15, 2020, after the South L.A. garment factory was shut down by county officials due to more than 300 coronavirus cases and four worker deaths. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Apparel holds a health and safety training session for its employees on July 15, 2020, after the South L.A. garment factory was shut down by county officials due to more than 300 coronavirus cases and four worker deaths. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles garment manufacturer has reopened after the county’s public health department shut down the factory twice over coronavirus outbreaks.

Los Angeles Apparel has been allowed to reopen after complying with all the requirements from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the department confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.

“After working with our department, they are ensuring their employees are trained, physically distanced, wearing face coverings and that their facility is following enhanced cleaning regimens,” the LA County Department of Public Health said.

More than 300 employees have been infected with the virus, and the factory was shutdown in June and July when the company failed to cooperate with the health department’s investigation, health officials said. When inspectors visited the facility in June, they found multiple violations of infection control protocols.

In addition to screening employees for any symptoms, Los Angeles Apparel is required to report any new cases to the public health department, according to the statement.

All employees were asked to return when the operation fully opened last week, Los Angeles Apparel founder Dov Charney told CNN.

“We have and will continue to follow all safety protocols in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Charney said.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will monitor the garment factory to make sure Los Angeles Apparel continues to comply with all health orders.

“Our inspectors will continue to conduct unannounced visits to ensure that infection control measures are in place,” the department said.

Shutdowns after violating mandatory health orders

Los Angeles Apparel was first shut down in June after violating the county’s mandatory health orders.

On June 19, a concerned healthcare provider notified county health officials of a possible outbreak. Despite multiple requests, Los Angeles Apparel did not provide a full list of all employees, the health department said.

That week, the facility reported 151 cases.

When inspectors visited the factory on June 26, they observed multiple violations of physical distancing requirements and infection control protocols, including the use of cardboard as a barrier between the workers, the health department said. It was shut down the next day.

The factory reopened with new employees shortly after but was ordered closed by the health department again earlier this month.

Over 375 confirmed cases and four deaths among employees were reported at the factory, prompting an investigation by the public health department.

“We continue to work collaboratively with the Department of Public Health, and are thankful for their cooperation,” said Charney. “We always pursue the highest safety standards for our workers, and will make improvements on an ongoing basis.”

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