Earth movers crawl over huge mounds of dirt. Dump trucks creep onto Prairie Avenue, bringing traffic to a crawl. Back-up alarms beep and dust swirls as heavy equipment navigates the sprawling site where the gleaming, sail-shaped centerpiece of Inglewood is rising toward completion.
SoFi Stadium, the $5-billion future home of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers, is scheduled to open in late July with a Taylor Swift concert. And nothing, not even the coronavirus outbreak that has staggered entire industries and kept tens of millions of workers across the county at home, is stopping construction.
Over the weekend, an unidentified worker tested positive for COVID-19 and another Monday was said to be “presumed positive.” But an estimated 3,000 people — carpenters, crane operators, electricians, iron workers, painters and tile layers — remain on the job. Some of them, though thankful for the opportunity while unemployment skyrockets, worry that the project could expose them and their families to the virus.
“If our safety was the most important thing, they wouldn’t have us out here,” a tile layer said before getting news of the positives. “Everybody is talking about it. Your focus isn’t 100% on your work. You have that in the back of your head. … We feel like we’re invisible.”
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