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Several employees test positive for COVID-19 at produce packing site in Santa Paula

man tests positive
Senerey de los Santos/KEYT
An employee of a Santa Paula produce packaging plant tested positive for COVID-19, the company says.

SANTA PAULA, Calif. - Ventura County Public Health has confirmed that over 35 employees at Calavo Growers have tested positive for COVID-19.

Santa Paula-based Calavo Growers, which distributes avocados and other fruit, says an employee tested positive for the virus on May 7. Calavo closed its packing house on May 8 when they learned about the positive case. They reopened on May 12

The company says it can’t provide information on whether other employee became sick because of privacy laws, but county health officials confirmed over 35 positive cases on Thursday.

The Ventura County Public Health Department says the company is working closely with health experts to keep employees safe.

“One sector in our economy that has been affected and that is the avocado industry,” said Dr. Robert Levin, the Ventura County Public Health Officer. “We are concerned about that, and we are very much involved in investigating that. We are looking at everyone there and we are making sure that everyone is tested.”

Calavo said they hired a cleaning company to sanitize and disinfect the packing house. They've also added daily health screenings and temperature checks for all employees. The company says workers are also physical distancing, washing hands frequently, and wearing face coverings.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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