COVID-19 Cases Up in Los Angeles Homeless Communities

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, advocates for people experiencing homelessnes worried that outbreaks of the virus would sweep through homeless communities and put already vulnerable people in grave danger. The early months went better than many feared, but now, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times, L.A. officials are dealing with “a sudden surge in the spread of the disease through the homeless shelter system.” The county was seeing an average of 60 new cases of Covid-19 per week among people experiencing homelessness through the fall, according to the report. Those numbers doubled during the week after Thanksgiving, the report says, and in the most recent week, reached 547 new cases. 

“The unexplainable protection that people who are homeless have had from COVID is disappearing,” the Rev. Andrew J. Bales, chief executive of the Union Rescue Mission, told the paper. “All of Skid Row and many agencies/missions are hot spots. All are overwhelmed.”

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