Over 80 UPS employees tested positive for COVID-19 at facilities across Los Angeles County, health officials said.
L.A. County reported outbreaks at 10 different UPS locations on Aug. 13, according to the county’s public health website. Employees tested positive in facilities atCerritos (10), Gardena (6), Main St. (12), Sylmar (8), Van Nuys (6), Vernon (15) and the UPS Hub (3) tested positive for COVID-19, the county reported.
“We continue to see outbreaks in manufacturing facilities, food processing facilities, the warehouse environments where workers are indoors together for long periods of time and may or may not have adequate personal protective equipment,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County’s health officer, according to KTTV. “Our outbreaks management branch and environmental health inspector teams have been very busy conducting site visits at various (work sites) across the county to make sure that employers are doing all they can to keep their employees safe.”
The employees worked in a variety of positions, KTTV reported. There have not been any deaths associated with the reported outbreaks, according to the news station.
“UPS cares deeply about keeping our employees safe while serving our communities, and we have taken extensive steps to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” Matthew O’Connor, a UPS spokesperson, told McClatchy News in an email. “While one case is too many, the Los Angeles County Health Department’s report reflects less than 1 percent of our more than 11,000 employees in the area, and we are hopeful for each person’s full recovery.”
UPS has made some safety changes in response to the outbreaks, O’Connor said.
The company has added more spacing between workstations at its warehouses and suspended the requirement for customer signatures for package receipts.
“I know the biggest question that people may have with this is, can I get COVID-19 from a package or mail,” Davis told KTTV. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, the virus can survive for short periods of time on some surfaces, but it’s unlikely to spread from mail, products or packaging. Most research shows that COVID-19 is spread primarily through droplets. It may be possible that someone can get COVID 19 from touching a surface or an item that has the virus on it and then touching their nose, mouth or possibly their eyes. But this is not the main way the virus spreads.”