COMMERCE (CBSLA) — The household of a 67-year-old man who died from COVID-19 mentioned Wednesday that they imagine his dying might have been prevented.

Jose Roberto Alvarez Mena, 67, died from COVID-19. He was a employee on the Mission Meals facility in Commerce the place an outbreak sickened 40 folks. (Household Photograph)

“He was within the hospital, within the ICU on a ventilator, and we prayed and despatched all of our constructive power hoping he would get out of this,” Alisha Alvarez mentioned of her father. “And we actually thought he would.”

However, in the long run, Jose Roberto Alvarez Mena died from COVID-19 July 20.

“He was the only supplier for my mother, my mother’s companion of 35 years and our dad,” Alvarez mentioned. “So it was actually devastating.”

And virtually per week after Mena’s dying, the household discovered there had been a COVID-19 outbreak at Mission Meals the place he labored, however the workers had been by no means notified.

“It meant that not each precaution was taken, and this most likely might have been prevented,” Alvarez mentioned.

In a press release, a Mission Meals spokesperson mentioned following a preventive closure of the ability on July 27, the corporate resumed regular operations the next day.

“Throughout this temporary closure interval, we labored carefully with the Division of Public Well being to assessment and clarify our complete COVID-19 protocols and procedures to guard the well being and security of our workers,” mentioned Regional Director of Manufacturing Paul de la O. “We proceed to collaborate with the Los Angeles County Division of Public Well being to ensure we’re in full compliance with all necessities and security protocols and to do our half in serving to include the unfold of COVID-19 in the neighborhood.”

Alvarez mentioned her father, who was head of upkeep, suffered from diabetes and hypertension, making him excessive threat for extreme issues. She mentioned her mom and sister additionally contracted the sickness.

On Monday, Los Angeles County well being officers confirmed that 40 workers had examined constructive for coronavirus on the Mission Meals Facility in Commerce. The corporate, recognized for its in style tortilla merchandise, was pressured to close down the ability after the well being division mentioned the corporate didn’t notify the county of an outbreak.

“It obtained unhealthy sufficient that my dad misplaced his life, and that signifies that different folks had been contaminated,” Alvarez mentioned. “And that signifies that different households are struggling.”

By Wednesday, the county allowed the ability to reopen. Workers had been seen strolling out with masks and, on the corporate’s web site, it states that workers had been subjected to temperature checks and elevated cleansing protocols had been put in place.

“We stay in fixed communication with our workers and are dedicated to making sure their security always,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.

Alvarez believes that if that was true when her father was working, he would nonetheless be alive.

“With out workers there isn’t a firm,” Alvarez mentioned. “So taking these additional precautions actually might have saved lives.”

The Alvarez household has began a basis to honor Mena that may assist minority households struggling in the course of the pandemic by offering meals and necessities. In addition they mentioned they hope his story will assist different important staff communicate up about experiencing unsafe working circumstances.