Wasco, Calif.—The number of workers at Primex Farms LLC in Wasco testing positive for coronavirus has climbed to 77, according to the United Farm Workers’ census of employees reporting their status to the union. An additional 33 family members have also tested positive for a total of 110 Primex workers and family members, according to UFW Secretary-Treasurer Armando Elenes. Other workers are awaiting test results. Primex last week said 31 employees had tested positive.
A few Primex workers say they are being asked to report back to work even though they have tested positive for the virus.
The company is now testing workers at the plant, and even asking employees who had previously tested positive to show up to be tested again. Some workers feel it is not safe for already infected employees to be around their colleagues at the facility.
Workers say Primex was reopening operations Monday after the firm claimed it had conducted a deep cleaning against COVID-19. They report that the company instead was conducting a regularly scheduled in-house fumigation against pests, a normal once-every-other-month practice. That falls far short of a complete disinfection of all facilities against coronavirus by a specialized outside firm. ###