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What happened In Marion County? High concentrations of coronavirus blamed on inequality of care

A sign directs patients at Salud Medical Center in Woodburn on Wednesday, April 29. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The employees of the farmworkers union in Woodburn got a jolt during their weekly meeting in early April, conducted as usual over Zoom.

An organizer shared the grim news that Héctor, a farm laborer known for his talkative presence on their Radio Poder station, was hospitalized, seriously ill with COVID-19. He drove a van for other workers.

His son was sick too.

“Everybody was just shocked,” said Reyna Lopez, PCUN executive director. “This is a man who seemed so strong ... It was really hard to hear that someone who has been so close to our movement has been so affected.”

By the time of that April 1 meeting, nearly every community organization in . . .