Tulare County teams assist various employers affected by COVID-19

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As of Tuesday, Tulare County Public Health Officials reported 174 cases of COVID-19 associated with Ruiz Foods.

Ruiz may be one of the bigger outbreaks for the county, but many other employers are reporting cases too.

Exeter's Central California Baking Company, which makes Svenhard's pastries, temporarily shut down after a worker tested positive for the disease.

Visalia-based California Dairies is confirming three of its more than 900 employees have also tested positive.

Even a FoodMaxx store in Visalia briefly shut down last weekend after one of its workers tested positive.

No matter the number of cases an employer has, representatives with Tulare County Health and Human Services say they are there to help them every step of the way.

Once they know about a positive case, HHSA's business liaison team sends company leadership an assessment form to fill out, which will help the county's contact tracing team perform their critical work.

"When a business liaison is forwarding an assessment to (the contact tracing) team and public health, they really help go through people who could have been exposed, kind of assigning a risk to them and just giving next steps to that employer to know if they potentially have to quarantine, if they have to send someone home," said Tulare County Economic Development Manager Julieta Martinez.

Tulare County HHSA staff will share CDC guidance with employers and assist them with the testing process for workers.

The goal is to maintain an open line of communication with the business at all times, and be on the same page when making decisions related to containing COVID-19.

"We never stop guiding and communicating with that business after the first case," Martinez said. "The county continues to meet, we have phone calls, via e-mail, Zoom, whatever's necessary to make sure that throughout the whole process and additional cases, we are having constant communication."

Tulare County COVID-19 Business Liaison:

(559) 624-7277

TCCovidBusiness@tularehhsa.org

Statement from California Dairies:

California Dairies, Inc. (CDI) has over 900 valued employees operating seven manufacturing facilities and multiple administrative offices throughout the State of California. The health and safety of our employees are always at the forefront of what we do at CDI. To date, CDI has confirmation of three employees testing positive for COVID-19. All CDI facilities continue to operate uninterrupted. In addition to the strong hygiene practices we already have in place as a food manufacturer, CDI has implemented and followed recommended Centers for Disease Control guidelines* from the beginning of the outbreak, and continues to do so.

Statement from The Save Mart Companies:

The safety of our customers and employees at FoodMaxx is our top priority. We have implemented enhanced daily cleanliness and sanitation protocols at all stores. Out of an abundance of caution, our FoodMaxx store in Visalia was temporarily closed Sunday, May 10, when the company was notified that an employee tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. This led to the store's precautionary closing for disinfecting and cleaning. The store reopened 8 a.m. Monday, May 11, after it was thoroughly disinfected, cleaned and sanitized for our customers and our employees' safety. The store is now back to its normal hours of operation. We followed CDC guidelines and any employee that may have had direct contact with the individual was also placed on quarantine.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.