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Primex Farms employees picketing after 31 workers test positive for COVID-19


WASCO, Calif. (KGET) — A group of Primex Farms employees are picketing this morning after the company confirmed on Tuesday that 31 workers tested positive for COVID-19. 

The pistachio processing company said their first case was confirmed on June 10. Of those who tested positive, 12 are Primex employees and 19 are temporary agency employees, according to the company.

Today, employees are picketing to advocate for safer working conditions and better benefits.

When asked for comment about the picketing, Primex Farms said in a statement that it “cannot control the circumstances or monitor what employees are doing outside on their own time.”

Primex said it is now rolling out new requirements for employees, including face masks. The company also reduced capacity to one-third to increase social distancing and sent all employees with any chance of exposure to be tested before they can return to work.

The company said it is closing the Wasco plant until Monday and have implemented a cleaning task force to ensure the facility is COVID-19 free.

Primex has also hired an onsite mobile testing facility who will be at the facility on Monday to offer testing to all our employees at no cost to them.

If the employees test negative, they can come back to work and if they test positive with no symptoms, they need to self-quarantine for five days and then be retested. If they test negative, they can come back to work, Primex said.

Any employee who tested positive has been put on paid sick leave, the company confirmed.

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