SpaceX hit with worst Covid-19 outbreak in Los Angeles

On January 28, 2021 in Hawthorne, California, a Falcon 9 rocket will be displayed outside SpaceX’s headquarters. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon (Getty Images)

SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, is currently experiencing a Covid-19 outbreak far worse than any other private company in the county, according to the LA Times and a LA County Public Health census. website. At least 132 SpaceX employees have recently tested positive for Covid-19.

as the LA Times notes that there are currently an estimated 5,972 employees at the facility and it is unclear what kind of Covid-19 protocols exist. SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who contracted covid-19 in Nov 2020, infamously predicted that the pandemic would end by April 2020.

Other companies with active outbreaks in the LA area include the FedEx facility at the LAX airport, where 85 employees have tested positive, the Staples Center, where 12 employees have tested positive, and military contractor Northrop Grumman in Palmdale. where 33 employees have a contract of illness.

This is not the first outbreak linked to the SpaceX headquarters. In March 2020, an employee who recently traveled abroad tested positive for Covid-19 and sent at least a dozen other employees into quarantine. It is not clear how many employees ultimately tested positive for Covid-19 at the time.

The US reported 268,307 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, an exceptionally large number probably due to a backlog of the weekend. The seven-day average for new cases in the country is 142,973. The US also reported 1,756 new deaths from Covid-19 on Monday.

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The new ommicron variant has become dominant in the country in just a week, accounting for about 73% of new cases, according to the Disease Control Centers. The ommicron variant accounted for only 2.9% of cases a week earlier.

Vaccination is still the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from death and serious illness during the pandemic. But only 61.4% of Americans have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, one of the lowest rates among wealthy countries.

Health experts also advise everyone to get a booster shot when eligible, which actually seems to help fight serious illness. Moderna just announced Monday that its booster worked very well against ommicron. In fact, a booster from Moderna increased antibody levels 37-fold, according to CNN.

Yes, covid-19 is on the rise in the US and it can be hugely depressing to know that the pandemic isn’t over yet. But there are tools available that weren’t there last year. Humanity can get through this if we work together. Get vaccinated. Get a boost. Wear a mask when you are inside. One day this will come to an end. It must.

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