The NFL's Rams and Chargers moved forward with free agency and draft preparations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And they're expecting the same from workers constructing SoFi Stadium, their new $5 billion home in Inglewood, California, despite one testing positive for the coronavirus.
Nearly 3,000 employees continue to work at the stadium, which is slated to open in July, after learning about their colleague's diagnosis via email Monday.
"We are reaching out to you because we suspect others on the Project were in 'casual contact' with the individuals in the last 14 days," the email said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We are also investigating and implementing supplementary sanitation measures specific to these incidents as necessary."
Such sanitation measures, announced by the joint venture Turner-AECOM Hunt, included tightening social-distancing rules; adding more hand-washing stations and toilets on site; keeping nonessential workers at home; and daily field-office cleanings.
But the L.A. Times reported employees are skeptical about the safety measures' effectiveness.
"It's impossible to do social distancing and do your job," an unidentified electrician told the L.A. Times, adding their coworkers yell "Corona!" upon hearing coughs and sneezes. "It's crazy how some people still don't take this seriously. I stay away from [colleagues] during lunch time. Look what happened in Italy. … I don't want that to happen in my community."
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order on March 19, keeping nonessential workers at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But the order doesn't account for SoFi Stadium employees, as the 298-acre project they're constructing is classified as critical infrastructure.
Last Sunday Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he was sending inspectors to job sites such as SoFi Stadium to ensure safety precautions were in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
But Garcetti's announcement didn't quell the concerns of all SoFi Stadium workers. Many feel they're in a conundrum: money or health.
"If our safety was the most important thing, they wouldn't have us out here," an unidentified tile layer told the L.A. Times. "Everybody is talking about it. Your focus isn't 100% on your work. You have that in the back of your head. … We feel like we're invisible."