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Latinos make up 71% of coronavirus cases in largely white Marin County. Will new equity efforts help?

September 8, 2020

San Francisco Chronicle article by: Tatiana Sánchez

Statewide, California public health officials recently announced that they are preparing “health equity measures” that counties will have to satisfy in hard-hit communities — such as Spanish-speaking neighborhoods — as part of the state’s new system for determining when counties can reopen businesses.

Signs promoting mask wearing are posted in San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood.
Photo: Lea Suzuki / The Chronicle

First came the unshakable fatigue. Then came the extreme pain in her eyes, followed by migraines, fevers and chills. Within days, Aurelia Vargas was bedridden. Vargas, a housekeeper from San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood, thought the illness would pass. “I didn’t think that it could be the virus because I’ve always worn a mask, used hand sanitizer and limited my outings,” she said. “I never imagined it would be that.” But it was. Vargas, 44, tested positive for the coronavirus in early July.

Her story isn’t unique. In fact, for Latinos like Vargas, it’s alarmingly common. And even more so in Marin County: Just 16% of the county’s population is Latino, yet they make up a jarring 71% of its coronavirus cases. No other Bay Area county has such a huge disparity.

Read the full article on the San Francisco Chronicle website.

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