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Australian News

As COVID-19 continues to shut down sporting events, Paralympian Ahmed Kelly’s upbringing is helping him overcome adversity


The coronavirus pandemic has upended most global sporting events and blown even the most dedicated athletes off course, but for the man dubbed “liquid nails” it is but a zephyr.

Ahmed Kelly was given little chance to survive when he was found by nuns outside an orphanage in Baghdad, Iraq.

But, 28 years later, the elite swimmer is preparing for the Tokyo Paralympic Games and would have already represented Australia had COVID-19 not delayed it until next year.

“I know some athletes can’t make the games now — their bodies couldn’t take another 12 months of training,” Kelly says, as he dries himself pool-side at Canberra’s Australian Institute of Sport.

“Some have retired, but I’ve been exposed to so many kids a lot worse off than me.

As athletes falter under the weight of a global pandemic, Kelly is set on making the Paralympics with a single-minded ferocity born only from a past like his.

A fight to survive

Ahmed Kelly dives off a platform into the pool during a training session.
Kelly believes his ability to overcome challenges has kept him focused during the COVID-19 pandemic.(ABC News: Selby Stewart)

Kelly’s grit comes not from a childhood of elite schools and sporting scholarships, but from one spent in orphanages and operating theatres.

He and his brother Emmanuel were abandoned as babies on the doorstep of the Mother Teresa Orphanage in Baghdad.

Ahmed was left at the door, Emmanuel in a shoebox on the street.

Both were born with under-developed limbs and not expected to survive.

Three young boys in school uniforms smile at the camera next to a golden retriever dog.
Ahmed (right) poses for a photo with a schoolfriend and his brother Emmanuel (left).(Supplied)

“We were just being kids, making the most of everyday and we had no idea what Australia was,” Kelly remembers of his time in Iraq.

The brothers spent seven years at the orphanage until Australian woman Moira Kelly visited the centre in 1998 and brought the boys back to Australia for surgery.

“I remember being really excited to hear we could be leaving, and then a long car trip to a new place,” Kelly said.

But immigration was difficult, and in some cases illegal, under then-leader Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi roads were littered with police checkpoints, blocking residents trying to leave.

Instead the brothers were secretly whisked 1,000 kilometres across the border into Jordan — an easier departure point.

They eventually made it to Australia after weeks of “documentation issues”.

Two teenage boys wearing suits and sitting next to their mother, who is smiling in the middle.
Ahmed (right) and his brother Emmanuel with their mother Moira.(Supplied)

Learning to walk without pain

But as Kelly grew into his new life in Australia, so did the pain in his legs.

“Eventually they were becoming too painful to walk on for long periods.”

Surgery allowed him to wear prostheses and led him to a new passion: Australian rules football.

“I wasn’t particularly good at footy, but I went in hard and just had a crack.”

It was playing for local Victorian team the Kilmore Blues that Kelly’s courage earned him the nickname “nails”.

When he later swapped the Sherrin for Speedos, he became “liquid nails”.

‘Liquid nails’

A man wearing a blue top walks alongside a pool holding a stop watch in his hand
Ahmed Kelly’s coach Yuriy Vdovychenko watches over his athletes as they train for the upcoming Paralympic Games.(ABC News: Selby Stewart)

“He likes to train very hard and he is incredibly determined,” Kelly’s coach Yuriy Vdovychenko says pool-side, stop watch in hand.

“But his persistence is strong.”

That persistence is a family trait.

Kelly debuted at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, cheered on by his sisters Trishna and Krishna, the Bangladeshi conjoined twins famously separated in 2009.

Meanwhile, his brother Emmanuel was garnering global praise for his rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine on the talent show The X Factor Australia in 2011.

Emmanuel is now chasing a music career in the United States.

“It’s important that kids know there are people out there like me.

“I really want parents and families to educate their kids, and to get around Paralympic sport.”

‘The world isn’t perfect, and that’s okay’

Next year will be Kelly’s third Paralympic appearance.

As he puts on his prostheses, packs his bag and looks out over the pool, he wonders if it will be his last.

“If it’s my last one, that’s life. And I hope I’ve helped change perspectives because that is the most important thing.

“I just want kids to know the world isn’t perfect, and that’s okay.”



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Business

Ampol may shut Australian oil refinery as losses blow out


“Global economic conditions triggered by COVID-19 have put significant pressure on refining, as evidenced by our performance in the first half and the significant losses announced today,” Ampol chief executive Matt Halliday said.

“This review will allow us to be proactive in determining the best course of action to protect our balance sheet, improve earnings certainty, and maximise shareholder value from our integrated supply chain.”

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The nation’s four refineries in Brisbane, Geelong and Perth have been under unprecedented strain since travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders to arrest the coronavirus pandemic wiped out demand for petrol, diesel and jet fuel and sent refiners’ profit margins crashing.

Other operators BP, ExxonMobil and Ampol have all implemented measures including production cutbacks and extended maintenance closures. ASX-listed Viva Energy has also placed its 165-year-old refinery in Geelong under a review, which may result in closure.

In the past decade, three refineries have shut across Australia, increasing the nation’s reliance on imported fuels, as the local sector struggles to compete against the mega-refineries of south-east Asia with their vastly larger scale and lower operating costs.

Following months of industry consultation, the Morrison government last month revealed a series of measures to buffer against potential supply shocks caused by global events such as wars or pandemics, and to help keep refineries open “wherever commercially possible”. Under the plan, refiners would receive a direct payment of 1.15¢ a litre for locally made fuel.

Credit Suisse said the government’s proposed production payment could potentially add $60 million in earnings and free cash flow for Ampol’s Lytton refinery.

“Eligibility for the production subsidy is likely to require a commitment to continue operating in
Australia,” analysts said. “The specifics of any such commitment is unclear and is likely to be a material factor in assessing the financial risk of the ongoing operation, given uncertainty about a recovery in refining margins.”

Gordon Ramsay, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said Lytton’s third-quarter losses of $82 million were larger-than-expected, reflecting the plant’s high fixed cost base and the sustained weakness in regional refining margins.

“While we expect a recovery in the trajectory of margins over 2021, as incremental improvements in demand are realised, the pace of recovery has potential to be subdued,” he said.

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Business

Premier threatens to shut 350 stores if landlords don’t budge on rent


More than 70 per cent of Premier’s stores in the two countries are on holdover, meaning the retailer could close them without having to take the costly action of breaking leases. Premier is one of Australia’s largest retail tenants.

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The company did not pay any rent through April when its stores were closed in the first coronavirus lockdown, and paid a total of just $59.2 million in rent across the second half of the year while negotiations with landlords were ongoing.

“Premier Retail’s highly profitable online capability and the flexibility of our property portfolio, combined with the decisions we have taken in response to COVID-19, leave the group best placed to maximise our position in the accelerating retail industry restructure,” chief executive Mark McInnes said.

The threat comes as the retailer reported a strong set of full-year numbers in face of the pandemic. Its revenue declined just 4.3 per cent for the year to $1.22 billion, despite the company’s stores being closed for nearly two months during the April-May lockdowns, and total sales declining nearly 20 per cent for the second half of the year.

But these declines were compensated for by the retailer’s online sales, which jumped nearly 50 per cent for the year to $220.4 million, accounting for 18.1 per cent of total sales. Online sales also come at a higher profit margin than in-store sales.

Solomon Lew has put landlords on notice that they reduce rent, or he walks.

Solomon Lew has put landlords on notice that they reduce rent, or he walks.Credit:Paul Jeffers

Premier received a total of $68.7 million in wage subsidies across the seven countries in which it operates. A total of $35.5 million was passed through to employees who were unable to work, leaving the remaining $33.2 million as a direct fillip to the business.

The company noted that Australia’s JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme meant many casual and part-time workers earned more than they usually would have. It also stressed its eligibility for the scheme, noting that between March 11 and May 15, in-store sales declined 78.4 per cent.

“Throughout the devastating COVID-19 global health crisis, our absolute priority has and continues
to be the safety and wellbeing of our teams and our customers,” Premier Investments chairman Solomon Lew said.

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“The board and I are extremely proud of the dedication and professionalism displayed by all of our employees during these unprecedented times of hardship and uncertainty.”

Premier will pay shareholders a final dividend of 36 cents, a slight decline on last year, bringing the full-year payout to investors to a total of 70 cents per share.

More to come.

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Australian News

With hair salons shut, Melburnians are cutting their own hair


Home hairdo horror stories are emerging as Melburnians reach for the scissors while salon visits are banned.

With the businesses shut under stage four restrictions, people are watching online tutorials on how to tame their own tresses.

Crooked fringes, uneven cuts and botched colour are some of the reports from do-it-yourself jobs.

Catherine MacGillivray, of St Kilda, lopped her waist-long locks six times during lockdown with scissors she bought off eBay for $8.

“I’ve wrecked my hair,” she said.

“I watched a couple of YouTube videos and the girl made it look really simple.”

She describes it as an iso-addiction that has turned her lush hair “scraggly”.

“I filled my hair basin up every single time. I guess you go, ‘Oh it’s not that bad, I’ll just try and do a bit more’,” she says.

“It’s just about impossible to pull my fingers through my hair because it mats.”

Chadstone woman Julie Tullberg bought a clipper set for her husband but things didn’t go as planned.

“I totally butchered his buzz cut and so, I had to make it zero. It was so flaky I had to cover his whole head in vaseline intensive care,” she said.

“He was appalled. I told him I had training on YouTube.

“I told him it will look the same in a week.”

Hair salons will have been closed for three months by October 26, when restrictions are set to ease.

Despite the ban, hairdressers are still being asked to do cuts and fix botch jobs, while others are offering advice via phone.

People desperate for cuts are even posting jobs on market platforms like Airtasker.

La Poubelle Hair Studio Brunswick’s Beau Emmett said many people jumped at doing their own hair once lockdown began.

“Hairdressers are actually pretty skilled with a pair of scissors – I don‘t think it’s as easy as some people think,” he said.

Mr Emmett says he is not nervous about the idea of people doing their own hair.

“It’s like saying you’ve become a really good home cook during this time – it’s not like going to a really amazing restaurant and having a fantastic chef-cooked meal – it’s a completely different thing,” he says.

“You can try and emulate it, but it really doesn’t have that level of refinement and experience.”

Besides, he says customers miss the interaction with their hairdresser.

“We literally make people feel better about themselves,” he says.

“I knew when we went back after the first period of lockdown how much more than just a haircut it was for a lot of people – people that have been isolated, that live alone, work from home, completely by themselves – having that point of contact or just a really robust conversation with someone.”

Essendon Hair and Makeup’s Michelle Murphy said she’s not nervous either.

“No, I’m not concerned at all,” she said.

“I think they’re going to be desperate to see a hairdresser.

“It’s only affected my hair extension customers that have found an alternative that’s more consumer friendly.”



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Australian News

Hotel Northbridge shut down from COVID-19 breach


A Perth pub has been shut down due to a COVID-19 breach with police telling patrons they must self-isolate.

Officers attended the Hotel Northbridge on Friday night and immediately shut down the venue.

There are reports officers first told patrons they could not leave the premises.

They were later lined up, asked to provide their details to police upon exiting and told to self-isolate and get tested for coronavirus as soon as possible.

WA police say a 53-year-old man, who returned home after visiting family in Queensland, failed to comply with COVID-19 directions and attended the hotel.

The man arrived in Perth on August 28 without having applied to re-enter the state.

“On arrival, he complained of non-COVID related symptoms. He was permitted entry to the state and was issued a hospital direction and conveyed by ambulance,” WA police said in a statement.

“After receiving treatment at a medical facility, he was instructed to wait for transport to hotel quarantine.”

However, the man left prior to the transport arriving and was later found at the hotel after checking into a nearby hostel.

“Police spoke with the hotel management who elected to close the hotel and undertake cleaning.”

WA police say there is low risk of exposure to the virus but the man was tested as a precaution.

He will now isolate in hotel quarantine and will be summoned to appear in Perth Magistrates Court at a later date.

Western Australia has hard border restrictions in place, stopping non-WA residents from entering unless deemed an “exempt traveller”.

Emergency services workers, truck drivers who deliver goods to the state for employment and people with specialist skills are some examples of people granted exemptions.

WA has not recorded community transmission for months and had a total of 655 cases as of Friday.



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Local News - Victoria

Mount Buller ski lifts close, Victorian ski resorts shut to visitors


Credit:Matt Golding

Businesses and residents on Mount Buller were advised on Thursday afternoon that increased coronavirus restrictions meant visitors would not be permitted on the mountain and all lifts would immediately be shut, despite bumper snow falls in recent days.

The Resort Management Board warned of significant fines for those who failed to comply.

Mount Buller and Mount Stirling had been the last to keep lifts operating, with Buller Ski Lifts general manager Laurie Blampied saying the decision to continue was “reached with the wellbeing and livelihoods of our employees, the community and our guests in mind”.

Vail Resorts, the US company that owns lifts at Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, closed them on July 9. Its chief operating officer in Australia, Peter Brulisauer, said the decision was based on Victoria’s stay-at-home directions.

“We are focused first and foremost on health and safety, following local health guidelines and doing our part to support efforts across Victoria to address the recent rise in coronavirus cases,” Mr Brulisauer said.

Buller Ski Lifts is owned by the Grollo Group, which also controls the Mt Buller Chalet, the Abom hotel, the local ski school and a string of hospitality and retail outlets on the mountain.

In recent weeks, the Mount Buller community has been abuzz with stories of Melburnians sneaking into the village late at night, some even chartering a helicopter to a base near the resort, in defiance of travel bans and the lockdown.

A Mt Buller ski services staff member displays the social-distancing measures the resort was using on its ski lifts.

A Mt Buller ski services staff member displays the social-distancing measures the resort was using on its ski lifts.

A Toorak hairdresser set up a pop-up store to cater to the A-list crowd, while apres-ski events were regularly hosted in private apartments, apparently oblivious to the pandemic.

One woman, who had contracted COVID-19 during a ski holiday to Aspen in March and refused to isolate on her return to Melbourne, was recently confronted on Mount Buller about her behaviour.

The rumours caused tensions with long-term residents and business owners, but most were reluctant to notify authorities and potentially jeopardise their lifestyles and livelihoods.

On July 28, Mount Buller Racing Club urged its members to contact police.

Day visitors build snowmen at the Mount Buller reopening in June.

Day visitors build snowmen at the Mount Buller reopening in June.Credit:Getty Images

“The rules are clear – if you live in a locked-down area, there are only four reasons to leave, and unfortunately coming up to the resort to join your family and have a ski is not one them.

“We have sought guidance from the authorities and we encourage anyone with information about people breaking the rules to lodge a report… this will enable Victoria Police to investigate. MBRC will co-operate fully with any investigations,” club president Simon Kelly said in an email.

Mark Bennetts, chief executive of the Mt Buller & Mt Stirling Resort Management Board, did not respond to questions about Melburnians flouting stage three and stage four restrictions to enter the resort.

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Mr Bennetts did confirm that one staff member had tested positive to COVID-19 on July 23.

“There are no, and have not been any, known positive cases within the resorts other than one staff member who tested as positive on 23 July — which we understand they contracted off-mountain,” Mr Bennetts said.

He confirmed that visitors were not permitted to enter the Mount Buller or Mount Stirling resorts from 5pm on Thursday for the duration of stage three restrictions that applied to regional Victoria.

The government has allowed a supermarket and takeaway venues to remain open, while people living within the resorts can continue to exercise outdoors, including cross-country skiing.

Projections in April anticipated the tourism industry, with a $32.5 billion worth to the Victorian economy, would lose $23.3 billion in visitor spend, Ms Mariani said.

The tourism chief said that figure would now be higher.

“The knock-on effect is businesses will not survive,” Ms Mariani said.

She said the industry would benefit from sector-specific plans to start mapping out what a reopening would look like.

“This isn’t about give us a timeline or tell us what date,” she said.

“We’re going to be living in this kind world for a couple of years, the industry is well aware of this and engaging them in a pathway out would give them something to work towards.”

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Australian News

Qld to shut borders to NSW, ACT


Queensland will close its borders to New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory from this Saturday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced.

All visitors will be denied entry from 1am after Queensland’s chief health officer declared all of NSW and the ACT as coronavirus hot spots.

Returning Queenslanders will also have to pay for their own 14-day mandatory hotel quarrantine after the deadline.

People living in border communities will need to provide a proof of address and photo ID to get a pass to cross into the Sunshine State.

Essential workers, like truck drivers, will also still be allowed to enter.

Exemptions to the rule – including for compassionate reasons – will be limited, the Government said.

The border closure will be reviewed at the end of the month.



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Australian News

Anti-masker meeting in Melbourne shut down by police


Victoria Police intervened to quash a planned gathering of anti-mask coronavirus conspiracy theorists at a gym in the Melbourne suburb Cranbourne on Saturday night.

A family member of one of the event’s organisers told The Age she contacted police to warn them it was happening.

“We were trying everything possible to get the meeting stopped,” she said.

“We’re all just trying to do the right thing.”

RELATED: Follow all the latest coronavirus news

Dozens of police showed up to surround the venue with roadblocks.

The Herald Sun reports officers smashed in the window of a young female driver’s car around 6:30pm after she refused to speak to them.

They briefly arrested the woman, before letting her go a short time later.

“Excuse me, this is unlawful,” she protested.

Channel 7 reporter Cameron Baud took video footage of the incident. There are also photos, taken by Suzan Delibasic.

The incident came a few hours after the Deputy Commissioner of Victoria Police, Rick Nugent, slammed “blatantly selfish” behaviour from some of the state’s residents.

“We are seeing too many individuals who are going about their lives as if this pandemic doesn’t exist,” Mr Nugent said.

RELATED: Anti-mask protesters arrested in Melbourne

RELATED: Seven myths of anti-maskers and how to rebut them

Multiple anti-mask protesters were arrested on Friday after gathering for a demonstration in Melbourne.

A video showed one man being apprehended by police at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, as he screamed “Australia, we’re gonna be free soon! Don’t worry, democracy wins! Democracy always wins!”

A police spokesperson told news.com.au officers had attended and dispersed the group for failing to comply with the Chief Health Officer’s directives.

“Police will investigate the events of this morning’s demonstration and plan to issue fines to individuals who were identified,” Victoria Police said in a statement.

“We will also continue to investigate to identify other individuals who were in attendance, and we will consider enforcement options.

“There will continue to be a highly visible police presence in the area throughout the day to ensure the Chief Health Officer’s directions are complied with.”

At least three protesters were arrested and others were moved on by police as dramatic scenes unfolded at the Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.



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Business

Crown moved to CBA when ANZ shut ‘money laundering’ accounts, inquiry hears


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Mr Preston said the purpose of the holding companies was to give patrons “privacy”, but under questioning by counsel assisting the inquiry, Scott Aspinall, about their “misleading” names, he agreed that hiding the fact money was being transferred to a casino created a “vulnerability” for them to be used for money laundering or theft.

The inquiry heard that in January 2014 ANZ Bank contacted Crown to raise the alarm about a string of large cash deposits made to the Riverbank account at different bank branches across Perth, which Mr Aspinall said was a clear red flag for money laundering.

Mr Preston was the head of anti-money laundering at Crown Perth at the time but said he could not recall if he was alerted to the incident or attended a meeting with ANZ about their concerns.

When ANZ cancelled the account, Crown opened a new account with CBA which – despite its experience with ANZ – also accepted anonymous cash deposits. Mr Aspinall took the inquiry through a series of suspect cash deposits of up to $50,000 made to the new CBA account over three months that totalled $5 million.

Crown then transferred the $5 million from the Riverbank account to one of its main bank accounts, which Mr Aspinall said showed Crown had failed to identify what was obviously money laundering.

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Mr Preston said Crown could only lodge reports with the regulator AUSTRAC when it suspects money laundering but “don’t have the ability to determine whether it was or was not [laundering]”.

“This has the indicators of money laundering which would have been reviewed by our transaction monitoring program and appropriate reports… would be made,” he said.

New Zealand’s ASB Bank shut down another account linked to the Southbank company in 2018 after it asked Crown to “urgently answer” a list of questions about how Crown monitored suspect activity on the account and did not receive a reply until three months later.

Mr Preston rejected Mr Aspinall’s suggestion that the fact Crown kept opening new accounts with the same functions as ones shut down over money launder concerns was “indicative of the fact that Crown facilitated or turning a blind eye to money laundering”.

Pushed by Commissioner Patricia Bergin, Mr Preston accepted “there are weaknesses that have been observed” in how the accounts were handled. However, he said there was a regulatory framework sitting around the accounts that Crown did comply with.

Mr Preston said that the anti-money laundering watchdog, AUSTRAC, had asked Crown why Riverbank and Southbank accounts were not registered as entities that would have had reporting obligations. He said Crown resisted this on legal advice that it was not necessary because there were not engaged in gambling activities. The inquiry will continue on Monday.

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Business

Ex-American Apparel CEO’s new factory shut down after 300 COVID cases


In a news release detailing the closure, the health department cited “flagrant violations of mandatory public health infection control orders” and failure “to cooperate with DPH’s investigation of a reported COVID-19 outbreak.”

This is one of the first forced closures of a factory in Los Angeles because of coronavirus-related outbreaks, according to Jan King, the regional health officer for south and west Los Angeles. Although the health department conducts numerous investigations, they are usually resolved through action with the companies involved.

“Business owners and operators have a corporate, moral and social responsibility to their employees and their families to provide a safe work environment that adheres to all of the health officer directives — this responsibility is important, now more than ever, as we continue to fight this deadly virus,” Barbara Ferrer, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said in a statement about the closure, which contained a timeline of the investigation.

‘Media theatrics’

In a phone call, Charney called the announcement “media theatrics,” and said: “I don’t think that press release represents the point of view of the people I am working with at the department of health. Some of them have apologised to me. It’s not truthful.”

He also issued a lengthy statement of his own in response, which stated, in part: “In all fairness, it’s morally irresponsible for the Health Department to speak on the infection rates at our factory without also addressing its connection to the issue at large: that the Latino community in Los Angeles is left vulnerable to COVID-19 in a health care system that provides no support with testing and no support or assistance for those that test positive.”

Now both Charney and the health department say they are working together to resolve the issues so the facility can reopen and business (and employment) can continue; both say their only concern is for the safety of the workers.

However, the drama is playing out under a spotlight, because of Charney’s complicated professional history, and because of recent revelations about the Los Angeles garment sector.

Sweatshop conditions

The phrase “Made in the USA” is often considered as a shorthand for products that are ethically made. But reports over the last years of sweatshop conditions and salary levels — including an investigation by The New York Times into factories in Los Angeles that supply fast-fashion brand Fashion Nova — have upended that myth.

Los Angeles Apparel opened in 2016 and employs just under 2000 workers in three buildings according to Charney. Since the coronavirus began, they have produced, Charney said, more than 10 million masks, about 80 per cent of which have gone to government agencies.

Charney said that all employees had been wearing face coverings, and that machines were spaced 6 feet (1.80 metres) apart. He said that the equipment and the space were regularly disinfected, and that the company had been regularly testing employees for the past five weeks.

On June 19, a nurse contacted the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health about a potential outbreak at Los Angeles Apparel, according to officials.

Cardboard barriers

The health department opened an investigation, which included a request that the company send over a list of all employees — a request the health department said was not met even after multiple appeals. On June 26, the health department conducted a site visit, and the next day the factory was closed.

According to King, the violations discovered included cardboard barriers between worker stations, and coronavirus guidance materials that had not been translated into Spanish (the first language of most of the employees). An official also found a lack of training on health protocols such that, when asked by a physician, the employee who was supposed to be screening fellow employees for symptoms could not list what they were — even though they were posted on the wall behind the employee.

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While some of the infractions were minor, King said, there was a sense the company was not taking seriously the documents the health department had sent that listed the changes that need to be made. As a result, the investigation team went from one person to around 10.

The factory reopened briefly July 9 before being forced to close again.

Charney disputed almost all of these facts. He said that it was the company itself that first alerted the health department to the situation; that the company had been making its best efforts to provide the employee list requested but that there were privacy issues involved; that the cardboard was in addition to social distancing regulations (and had been recommended by a consultant because the virus does not live long on cardboard).

He also said that it was the responsibility of the health department to translate their documents into Spanish — not the responsibility of the company.

The legal department of the health department, he said, had told him the factory could reopen on July 9, although King said a written document permitting reopening was required first. Charney attributed the confusion to “miscommunication” in an overburdened department.

“Three hundred is a very concerning outbreak,” King said of the individuals who had fallen ill.

The factory remains closed, according to the Department of Health statement, until “they can show that the facility is in full compliance with Public Health mandates,” but the hope for both the health department and Charney is to reopen later this week.

Both sides are, King said, “in constant touch.” Charney said he was “learning a lot.”

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