Inside the home of the famed Dodger Dog, Pedro Albarran watched with alarm as his colleagues stood at the meatpacking line shoulder-to-shoulder, unmasked, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
People started coughing. Then, one by one, they disappeared from their places in the line.
Sure enough, the virus was circulating at the Farmer John plant in the city of Vernon, sickening at least 165 workers as of June 2, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It also spread through eight other factories with between five and 24 infected employees at each, for a total of more than 200 infections.
On paper, there have only been 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city. But that’s because the one thing Vernon, an industrial powerhouse in southeast L.A. County, has almost nothing of is people who actually live there.
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