In a news release detailing the closure, the health department cited “flagrant violations of mandatory public health infection control orders” and failure “to cooperate with DPH’s investigation of a reported COVID-19 outbreak.”
This is one of the first forced closures of a factory in Los Angeles because of coronavirus-related outbreaks, according to Jan King, the regional health officer for South and West Los Angeles. Though the health department conducts numerous investigations, they are usually resolved through action with the companies involved.
“Business owners and operators have a corporate, moral and social responsibility to their employees and their families to provide a safe work environment that adheres to all of the health officer directives — this responsibility is important, now more than ever, as we continue to fight this deadly virus,” said Barbara Ferrer, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in a statement about the closure, which contained a timeline of the investigation.
In a phone call, Mr. Charney called the announcement “media theatrics,” and said: “I don’t think that press release represents the point of view of the people I am working with at the department of health. Some of them have apologized to me. It’s not truthful.”
He also issued a lengthy statement of his own in response, which stated, in part: “In all fairness, it’s morally irresponsible for the Health Department to speak on the infection rates at our factory without also addressing its connection to the issue at large: that the Latino community in Los Angeles is left vulnerable to Covid-19 in a healthcare system that provides no support with testing and no support or assistance for those that test positive.”
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/13/style/los-angeles-apparel-dov-charney-coronavirus.html