Los Angeles — Adverse working conditions at fast-food restaurants – as well as worker and customer failure to comply with physical distancing and mask-wearing protocols – may put fast-food employees in Los Angeles at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, according to a recently released report from the University of California, Los Angeles and UC Berkeley.

Researchers analyzed demographic and government data, surveys and media reports. They found that one-third of fast-food restaurants in the city employed at least 20 people, “suggesting shared equipment, workspaces, bathrooms and break areas,” the report states.

Additionally, the report highlights numerous surveys showing that service occupations, including fast food, are “especially vulnerable” to COVID-19 transmission. One survey, from the UC Berkeley Food Labor Research Center, found that 84% of fast-food employees worked within 6 feet of someone not wearing a mask, while 44% said at least one colleague had contracted the virus.

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