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Clinic Serving Latino Community Reports 40% COVID-19 Positivity Rate

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A pharmacist at Clinica Romero. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, Courtesy Clinica Romero)
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L.A.'s Clínica Monseñor Romero is reporting that since March of last year, its patients have had a 40% positivity rate for COVID-19 — more than double the average percentage for L.A. County.

Executive director Carlos Vaquerano said this is because its patients include many essential service workers, who are at heightened risk of contracting the virus. He told us:

"A lot of these families live in a one-bedroom apartment with ten people. One of them has a job, they go, come back, and then those are the ones that are getting sick, and those are the ones that are dying."

On Saturday, Clínica Romero hosted a vaccination event at its Boyle Heights location until 2:30 p.m. to administer 100 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The clinic is located at 2032 Marengo Street.

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Vaquerano said he hopes that Blue Shield, which is overseeing vaccinations for the state, will incorporate more community clinics to reach the areas hit hardest by the pandemic.

"These community centers are vital to the community, they trust us. We've been around for over 37 years and there are many like ours," he said.

Vaquerano said Clínica Romero would continue working to funnel vaccines into the communities it serves, and that he anticipates getting another 100 doses from the county next week.

Clínica Romera has two sites, one in Boyle Heights and another in the MacArthur Park area. It provides services to a largely Spanish-speaking Latino population, and also indigenous populations from southern Mexico and Central America, including many immigrants without legal status.

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