The L.A. County Department of Public Health confirmed 153 positive COVID-19 cases within the Farmer John meatpacking plant in Vernon, California.

The Smithfield-owned facility tested 1,837 of its employees from March to May, and of the 153 confirmed cases, 43 have since returned to work.

After being identified, all positive employees were said to be quarantined to minimize exposure.

The facility was one of nine to produce positive COVID-19 cases in Vernon, the others being CLW, Vie De France, Yamazaki Inc., Cal Farms Meat Company, Takaokaya USA Inc., F. Gavina & Sons Inc., Golden West Trading, Overhill Farms, and Rose & Shore.

The Farmer John plant had the highest number of cases, and Public Health said contact tracing procedures have been established.

“We are closely monitoring outbreaks within facilities in the city of Vernon, as many of the employees reside in adjacent Southeast Los Angeles communities,” said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health. “… We are engaging in comprehensive contact tracing protocols to ensure that close contacts are identified and isolation, and quarantine orders are issued, to keep employees and their families safe.”

The city of Vernon said it has been “working proactively” with businesses that have reported more than five positive COVID-19 cases.  

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.