Fri, 29 May 2020

L.A. stadium workers question safety after positive virus tests

Field Level Media
31 Mar 2020, 13:19 GMT+10

A day after a construction worker at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., was revealed to have tested positive for COVID-19, a second worker is "presumed positive," the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

The Times cited an email that was sent to all workers at the project regarding the second "presumed positive."

Construction continues on the $5 billion stadium in efforts to have it ready for a concert in late July and then the NFL season in the fall, with the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers both set to play home games in the building.

Turner/AECOM Hunt, the contractor working on the project, confirmed in a statement Sunday that a worker had tested positive for the coronavirus, which has caused a pandemic.

The Times' story also quoted -- anonymously -- several workers who are worried about their well-being by continuing construction amid the pandemic.

"If our safety was the most important thing, they wouldn't have us out here," an unidentified tile layer told the Times, before receiving news of any positive tests. "Everybody is talking about it. Your focus isn't 100 percent on your work. You have that in the back of your head. ... We feel like we're invisible."

An electrician added, "If they want to get the stadium done, they need to provide something to minimize the risk of exposing anyone. It doesn't take much to realize how big this (problem) could be."

The Times added that many workers are torn between the need for safety and the need to work in order to earn a paycheck.

The state of California is operating under an order to stay at home, but construction projects are considered critical infrastructure and thus allowed to continue.

The stadium, for which construction began in November 2016, was originally expected to cost $2.6 billion and open in time for the 2019 season, but the target was pushed to 2020 after construction delays due to uncommon amounts of rain early in 2017.

The Rams have played the past three seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, sharing it with the NCAA's USC Trojans. The Chargers have spent that time playing at Dignity Health Sports Park, a smaller building (27,000 capacity) home to MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy.

SoFi Stadium is scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.

--Field Level Media

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