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SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne sees COVID-19 outbreaks with 132 cases

HAWTHORNE, California (KABC) – In the largest recent Los Angeles County workplace outbreak, at least 132 workers at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne have been infected with COVID-19, according to new county data.

The county’s latest collection of outbreaks of jobs that do not include housing facilities puts the rocket company at the top of the list, well ahead of the 85 cases at the FedEx facility near Los Angeles International Airport.

The list includes 37 workplaces with a total of 452 cases.

The Hawthorne facility serves as both the company’s headquarters, mission control and production for Falcon 9 rockets.

The county is investigating major workplace outbreaks of the coronavirus, but it was not immediately clear what steps would be taken by local health authorities or SpaceX executives to deal with the high number of cases.

The county̵[ads1]7;s data table does not specify when the cases at SpaceX occurred, but notes that companies remain on the outbreak list until they have no new cases for at least two weeks. Meanwhile, the total numbers continue to add up, although some of the people included in the numbers have since recovered from the virus.

SpaceX officials say the 132 represents a total number of cases dating back to September, when several employees received COVID-19 outside the workplace. The company said that does not mean that many employees are currently positive about COVID-19. The company said that only one of the cases is suspected to have been transferred while the employee was at work.

SpaceX issued a statement that reads in part:

Of the 132 reported “outbreak cases”, only one was suspected of having occurred at work. 132 is also the total number of cases reported since the September case described above, and this number includes employees who may have been on vacation for several weeks, came back to work and got a COVID test at SpaceX which turned out to be positive, again, that does not mean that 132 employees in Hawthorne have COVID today or have had it in the workplace.

We will continue to work very hard to keep employees safe in the workplace. “

It comes at a busy time for Elon Musk’s company, which has had several major launches in recent weeks.

Last month, NASA launched a mission on a SpaceX rocket to smash into an asteroid and test whether it is possible to launch it from a collision course towards Earth.

NASA launches spacecraft on the SpaceX rocket to smash into asteroids

The outbreak comes as COVID-19 cases increase again in California and across the country, amid increased holiday travel and gatherings, and the spread of the omicron variant. Los Angeles County recently reported the highest number of daily cases since August.

California this week marks 75,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

And health authorities are concerned as omicron has now become the dominant strain of the coronavirus. Hospitals report once again to be strained to the utmost of their resources when the holidays are underway, with increased transfer related to family gatherings and flights.

The TSA expects to screen around 30 million air passengers through the holiday.

In total, cases have increased by around 96% in the United States since October. Omicron seems to be spreading faster than previous variants.

“It seems to overtake all the other varieties, including delta, with a doubling time of about two to three days,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Cases are increasing, especially in children, with 170,000 pediatric cases reported, up 28% in the last two weeks.

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