Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Facing The Coronavirus With Swim Goggles. The Unequal Toll In LA Nursing Homes

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

COVID-19 has killed nearly 1,000 people in Los Angeles County who lived or worked at institutions – mainly nursing homes. A new collaboration between KPCC/LAist, The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun and The Southern Illinoisan found there's one thing that distinguishes the nursing homes that have reported the highest number of deaths: their residents are mostly black and Latino.

Race and Latino origin turned out to be a major predictor of whether a nursing home has a COVID-19 outbreak, we found, even after accounting for a facility's location, federal quality ratings, size and infection rate in the surrounding community.

We looked at what happened at one, hard-hit nursing home in L.A., Buena Ventura Post Acute Care Center, to try to understand how the virus spread there so quickly.

The facility in East Los Angeles, whose residents are mostly Latino, has experienced one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the county, according to public health data. So far 83 workers and residents have been infected with the virus, and twelve of them have died.

Support for LAist comes from

Alma Lara-Garcia, a certified nursing assistant who worked at Buena Ventura and got infected with the coronavirus, shared her experience of the early days of the outbreak.



Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.