San Fernando Valley’s Latino neighborhoods hit hard by L.A. County’s COVID-19 outbreak

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A Day of the Dead altar set up in November 2020 at the office of L.A. City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez at Pacoima City Hall includes COVID-19 victims. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A Day of the Dead altar set up in November 2020 at the office of L.A. City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez at Pacoima City Hall includes COVID-19 victims. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

There was no way for Carolina Sanchez to isolate herself from her family after testing positive two weeks ago for COVID-19.

She lived squeezed into a room with her four children at a Vagabond Inn in Sylmar in the northeast San Fernando Valley. They and Sanchez’s sister, who looked after them while she worked at a 99 Cents Only store, also contracted the virus. This was the cost of being a low-wage worker living in crowded conditions. It was a cost exacted from Latinos above almost any other group.

“It is scary knowing that you could go out there and get sick again,” she said. “I’m even scared to go back to work because of people coming in and out [of the store] and it’s people that could be sick and are still going out to shop.”

With coronavirus reaching unprecedented levels in California, the pandemic is once against stalking low-income, working-class, majority Latino neighborhoods with a particular aggressiveness, according to a Times data analysis.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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