Garlic production temporarily shut down in one building at Christopher Ranch after an employee tested positive for Covid-19 at the end of last week.
Executive vice president Ken Christopher confirmed the case, and said Santa Clara County health officials are present at the ranch June 29 to conduct mass testing of its 1,000 employees.
The employee is part of a crew that cleans fresh garlic, Christopher said, in an isolated department of 50 workers.
He added that the employee, who did not show any symptoms while they were at work, notified the ranch as soon as they began feeling ill.
Employees who are part of the crew are now under a mandatory paid quarantine. The building where the crew works, after undergoing a deep sanitization over a 48-hour period, is back to full operation, according to Christopher.
The ranch, which early on in the pandemic required temperature checks for its employees as well as face masks and other safety protocols, is now requiring employees to wear face shields.
“We are continuing to enhance our safety and working with the county to ensure that we are the safest we can be,” Christopher said.
Christopher Ranch is in the midst of its busiest time of the year, after the garlic harvest season kicked off in early June. The harvest is expected to net 100 million pounds of garlic, which will go to stores nationwide and alleviate a national garlic shortage.