NOGALES, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Santa Cruz County is spiking, and that has the operators of the county's major industry on edge.

Two weeks ago, there were 34 confirmed coronavirus cases in the county of 46,000. Today, the number rose to 102.

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At least one of the cases has been traced to a produce "repacking" warehouse. That is where produce that came from Mexico is unloaded, reboxed and repacked for transportation across the country. The conditions are cold and crowded, which is similar to the environment in a meatpacking plant. Those facilities have seen clusters of COVID-19 cases in other parts of the country.

Produce warehouses preparing for COVID spike among workers

Two weeks ago, there were 34 confirmed coronavirus cases in the county of 46,000. Today, the number rose to 102.

One produce company official told CBS 5 Investigates that the warehouse operators are scrambling to implement new measures meant to protect workers from becoming infected.

produce trucks

Safety changes are on the way to produce warehouses.

According to the FDA, there are no known COVID-19 cases that were traced to food. The virus is spread from droplets in the air or on surfaces. The virus does not survive for long outside the human body.

Morgan Loew's hard-hitting investigations can be seen weekdays on CBS 5 News at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
 
 

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