Bolthouse Farms has confirmed that 35 total employees, across their three facilities, have tested positive for COVID-19, with most of the cases in Bakersfield. The company said they were able to contain the outbreak to a small area of the facility.
In a statement, Bolthouse Farms said "Due to our early action in March to separate our plant and employees into smaller workgroups, we were able to contain this outbreak to this one smaller area of our facility. In our commitment to work closely and quickly with all of our employees, we worked directly with the affected employees to get them accelerated medical care and other resources that they need, and we will continue to do so."
The company said they were screening everyone who enters the facility and providing company-paid testing as needed. In addition, they have mandated work-from-home policies for non-essential employees.
"At our facilities, we are screening everyone who enters our site for elevated fever and providing employees with company-paid testing as needed; separated employees at our Bakersfield facility into workgroups of 10 or less to limit interaction while at work; require face masks for everyone in or at our sites at all times; and increased our disinfection and sanitation practices. In addition, to assist our team we have added a supplemental COVID-19 specific sick policy; mandated a work from home policy for all non-essential employees as well as a Stay-at-Home policy for those essential employees showing signs of illness; and initiated an essential pay supplemental bonus for essential employees in production and agriculture."
The company also emphasized that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through food or beverage according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We are continuing to closely monitor the situation as it develops and will take dynamic action as appropriate," concluded the statement.