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After first being spared, rural California now being ravaged by the coronavirus

Alex Wigglesworth and Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

"Kern County has two modes of income," he said. "It's agriculture, and it's the oil industry."

Workers in those industries tend to live and work in close quarters, many of them in multifamily households, he said. They are also less likely to be able to stay home when they're sick and more likely to lack protections to speak out about safety concerns at work.

"I think we're seeing a lot of that when we're doing these tracings back, that the whole family has been infected," he said.

Low-income residents are also less likely to have access to health care services and more likely to have preexisting health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious illness or death from the virus, he said.

(Wigglesworth reported from Inglewood and Lin from San Francisco.)


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