Southeast Los Angeles County has become the epicenter for the resurgence of the coronavirus, according to a Times analysis of county health data that found infections skyrocketing in its mostly working-class Latino communities.
The sharp increase since the economy reopened around Memorial Day shows the virus is spreading rapidly through factories, stores and other workplaces and into communities with higher rates of poverty, more crowding and many essential workers who make the economy tick. Hit hard by job losses during the shutdown, they are increasingly suffering from the virus itself.
The region reported more than 27,000 new COVID-19 cases over the last two months, the most in the county. The area now accounts for 19% of new infections, although it comprises just 12% of the countywide population, the Times analysis shows. That vaulted its once-modest infection rate into one of the highest in the county, and just below the already hard-hit Eastside and South L.A. areas, according to the Times analysis through Aug. 2
The trend is part of a statewide spike in infections among Latinos, both in rural, farm-working communities and urban areas. It’s only the latest burden for a corner of Southern California long beset by pollution from nearby industry, a lack of access to healthcare and a host of other ills.
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