After initially affecting the more densely populated areas of Chester County, the coronavirus is now hitting southern Chester County’s mushroom country, write Vinny Vella and Jesenia De Moya Correa for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
An area that includes Kennett Square, Avondale, and West Grove has been the epicenter of a surge in new COVID-19 cases since May 26. This area has rates of coronavirus cases well over 200 per 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, the countywide rate is around 59.
With a high percentage of the population being migrants who are ineligible for unemployment benefits, the pandemic is threatening massive upheavals.
“This virus has taken people living on the edge and just pushed them over,” said Leah Reynolds, executive director of Kennett Area Community Service. “This health crisis is a hunger and housing crisis.”
To help, a patchwork of local support groups and the county’s Health Department has created a testing infrastructure in areas they could access, swabbing farmworkers as they got off work.
They are also trying to curtail the spread of misinformation about the disease and get workers to wear the necessary protections, especially face masks.
Read more about efforts to curtail the coronavirus in The Philadelphia Inquirer here