Primex deals with outbreak
Last updated 7/12/2020 at 5:58am | View PDF
Primex, a major grower and processor of fruits and nuts in Wasco, is dealing with a major outbreak of coronavirus among workers, with 31 positive cases reported by the company and double that reported by the union representing their workers.
She said that PrimeX's early adaption to CDC guidelines and employee cooperation has resulted in about 50% less Covid-19 cases than other similar operations in California, according to Chief Operating Officer Mojhan Amin in an email.
"We are one of the cleanest operations anywhere in the world," Amin said.
Leaders of the United Farm Workers have questioned the number of Covid-19 cases related to the plant, claiming at least 73 workers have reported testing positive. The company has not confirmed or denied the higher count.
Amin rejected charges that the company had required employees to pay for any masks that they needed at work.
"We have never sold masks to anyone, including our employees," Amin said. "We provide free masks to them."
She went on to state that the company had a mobile FDA-approved Covid-19-testing unit onsite fully paid by PrimeX at their facility to test every employee on June 29 and 30.
"Employees who test negative are allowed to come back to our facility, which is completely sanitized and disinfected professionally and is free of SARS-COV-2 (Covid-19)," she said.
Amin added that employees who test positive are required to follow the Center for Disease Control quarantine guidelines and are entitled to 80 hours of sick leave.
"It is the law," she said in the email.